PUTRAJAYA, April 15, 2015:
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan has admitted that he was an unpopular and hated figure over the newly implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.
As such the Pontian MP said that he has prepared himself physically and mentally to be scrutinised with regards to the issue.
“I am ready to be criticised for the next six months, because the Customs Department has pledged to stabilise the GST implementation in six months time and i personally hope that the teething issues will be solved within three months.
“Meanwhile I am willing to be ‘dibantai’ (criticised) for the next five and a half months,” he said when asked on the recent barrage of criticisms against him regarding his statements on GST.
Speaking to reporters at the official GST, Budget, and current issues briefing here today, Ahmad also assured that no legal action will be taken against those who have criticised him personally.
Instead, he said that he chose to be more open minded by forgiving those who had insulted him following the implementation of the GST.
Today’s event also saw Ahmad explain his recent statements that had triggered widespread criticism.
This included his recent statement at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), which he suggested university students to cook their own meals to reduce GST-related costs.
“In UiTM, I spoke for two hours and 45 minutes, I never said that students are recommended to cook but instead said that if we cook food ourselves, the food stuff that we buy for cooking will not be charged GST.
“I know that students cannot cook in the hostel, my child studied in UiTM for three years before heading to Britain, which is why I feel that Malaysians are emotional,” he explained.
He said, that despite the criticism he remains confidentwhat the government has decided to implement as the taxes is good for Malaysians.
Ahmad also pledged to be at the forefront in giving more explanations regarding GST to ensure that the accurate information reaches the people.
“I am confident that GST is much better than SST, this is good for the rakyat, businessmen and the government.”