Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DUA 'ANAK EMAS' MAHATHIR: DENDAM YANG MEMBAWA KEPADA PENUBUHAN PPBM

Pendedahan dibuat oleh Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri minggu lalu mengenai Tun Dr Mahathir yang menentang Perdana Menteri, Dato' Sri Najib kerana didorong dendam ekoran permintaan peribadinya ditolak Najib, seharusnya diberikan perhatian serius.

Antaranya, Ismail Sabri menyebut Najib menolak permintaan Mahathir untuk menswastakan MAS kepada seorang rakannya, lesen judi sukan rakan Mahathir diberi kelulusan dan berbilion diberikan sebagai bantuan kepada Proton.
   

Mari kita lihat satu lagi kejadian yang kemudiannya disusuli dengan pengumuman popular pada Ogos 2014 di mana Mahathir tidak lagi mahu menyokong Najib.

Saya yakin apa yang berlaku dalam tempoh 10 bulan sangat kritikal untuk mendorong Tun Mahathir menentang Najib walau apa sekalipun, yang kemudiannya mencetus kepada penubuhan Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia dan pencalonan Mahathir sebagai Perdana Menteri sekali lagi.

Pada September 2013, anak Mahathir, Mukhriz mengenepikan saranan untuk mengekalkan status quo bagi jawatan tiga Naib Presiden Umno, sebaliknya memilih untuk bertanding sama, biarpun sebelum itu Mukhriz tewas teruk bagi pertandingan jawatan Ketua Pemuda Umno pada 2008.

Seperti dijangkakan, Mukhriz kalah sekali lagi bagi jawatan Naib Presiden ketika keputusan diumumkan pada 21 Oktober 2013.

Tun Mahathir sangat ketara, berang dengan kekalahan anaknya dan menyalahkan Najib kerana tidak menyokong Mukhriz dan menuduh Najib menyokong sepupunya, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein yang menewaskan Mukhriz bagi jawatan terakhir Naib Presiden.

Sebuah media asing turut memetik kemarahan Mahathir:

“Kami diberitahu mereka telah menghapuskan politik wang ketika pemilihan Umno baru-baru ini, namun saya tidak yakin,” kata Mahathir dalam satu sidang media di Putrajaya. 

Biarpun beliau tidak menyebut nama Najib secara spesifik, beliau berkata: “Saya rasa terdapat banyak penglibatan wang, melibatkan jutaan Ringgit, dan ramai yang tidak sepatutnya menerima undi memperolehinya kerana wang yang dibelanjakan.”

Biarpun Mukhriz secara terbuka menyatakan dia mahu dilantik oleh presiden sebagai salah seorang Ahli Majlis Tertinggi Umno, namanya tidak disenaraikan pada pengumuman 30 November 2013.

Najib yakin Mukhriz yang baharu sahaja diberikan jawatan Menteri Besar Kedah memerlukan lebih banyak pengalaman dan membuktikan dirinya sebelum mendaki tangga kepimpinan parti. Lagipun, Mukhriz akan menghadiri mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi berikutan jawatan Menteri Besar disandangnya, oleh itu, dia tidak memerlukan jawatan yang sama melalui lantikan.

Saya yakin Tun Mahathir tidak akan gembira dengan apa yang berlaku di mana beliau menyatakan berulangkali “mereka terhutang budi kepada saya” dan yakin bahawa beliau adalah individu yang menaikkan Najib sebagai Presiden kerana Najib adalah anak kepada Tun Abdul Razak, dan ‘budi’ yang sama perlu dikembalikan kepada Mukhriz.

Bukanlah sesuatu yang mengejutkan ketika hari pertama Perhimpunan Agung Umno pada 2 Disember 2013, Mahathir membuat pengumuman bahawa beliau meletak jawatan sebagai Penasihat Petronas.

Beliau memberi alasan usia 88 tahun adalah terlalu uzur dan doktor turut menasihatkannya untuk mengundur diri atas faktor kesihatan.

Berikutan apa yang berlaku dan bila ia berlaku, ramai yang tidak mudah diperbodohkan dengan cubaan secara terbuka Mahathir untuk menunjukkan rasa tidak puashati terhadap Najib atas kekalahan anaknya, Mukhriz. Agensi berita antarabangsa, Reuters melaporkan perletakan jawatan Mahathir sebagai penasihat Petronas:

“Perletakan jawatan Mahathir, bagaimanapun, hadir ekoran hubungan dengan Perdana Menteri, Najib Razak semakin tegang beberapa bulan lalu, lebih-lebih lagi dengan keengganan Najib untuk memberi sokongan kepada anak Mahathir bagi jawatan penting dalam Umno. Lembaga Pengarah Petronas melapor terus kepada Perdana Menteri.”

Disebalik alasan kurang sihat dan faktor usia untuk menjadi penasihat Petronas, Mahathir kemudiannya mengambil jawatan Pengerusi Proton Berhad, lima bulan selepas itu pada Mei 2014.

Ramai yang tahu, Mahathir menganggap Proton bagai anaknya sendiri.

Proton sudah mengalami kerugian sejak DRB-Hicom, yang dimiliki rakan lamanya, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar mengambil alih syarikat itu dua tahun lalu. Berikutan ambil alih itu, Proton tidak lagi milik kerajaan dan menjadi milik 100 peratus syarikat persendirian.

Proton berdepan masalah dan ia turut menjadi beban kepada kumpulan DRB-Hicom. Beberapa tahun sebelum Mahathir dilantik sebagai Pengerusi, kerajaan telah menolak beberapa permohonan dari Proton berjumlah berbilion Ringgit sebagai bantuan kerana ia adalah sebuah syarikat persendirian.

Adalah menjadi pengetahuan umum, perlantikan Mahathir sebagai pengerusi Proton adalah sebagai memberi tekanan kepada kerajaan untuk menyalurkan bantuan berbentuk geran percuma RM3 bilion kepada Proton sebagai bantuan.

“Dengan Dr M di Proton, Putrajaya tidak boleh katakan tidak untuk wang yang diminta,” kata satu laporan.

“Perlantikan Dr Mahathir berusia 88 tahun itu sebagai pengerusi Proton akan memperkukuhkan kedudukan Proton terhadap kerajaan. Menurut beberapa individu, Mahathir kecewa ekoran keengganan Petroliam Nasional Berhad dan kerajaan untuk memberi dana RM3 bilion bagi pelan transformasi Proton dan ini menyebabkan beliau memilih untuk memainkan peranan dalam syarikat pembuat kereta nasional itu,” kata laporan The Edge ketika itu.

Mahathir sendiri berulangkali berkata Proton berhak menerima geran berkenaan dari kerajaan kerana ‘Proton memang berhak.’

Bagaimanapun, kerajaan masih menolak permohonan itu yang turut menyebabkan Mahathir menulis mengenai keputusannya untuk tidak lagi menyokong Najib melalui satu tulisan pada 18 Ogos 2014.

Alasan diberikan ialah rasa tidak puashatinya terhadap keputusan kerajaan untuk memansuhkan ISA, menyalurkan BR1M, melaksanakan gaji minimum dan menuduh Najib mengutamakan produk import berbanding barangan tempatan yang dipercayai merujuk kepada Proton.

Tiada langsung disebut mengenai RM2.6 bilion atau 1MDB ketika pengumuman itu ditulis.
Ironinya, sebagaimana manifesto Pakatan bagi Pilihanraya Umum ke-14, Mahathir kini membuat pusingan U bagi kebanyakan rasa tidak puashatinya dengan menyatakan BR1M akan diteruskan dan menaikkan gaji minimum sebanyak 50 peratus kepada RM1,500 sebulan.

Sebelum ini, Mahathir telah menulis bahawa kerajaan yang melaksanakan gaji minimum RM900 sebulan pada tahun 2011 akan menyebabkan inflasi teruk, perniagaan akan lingkup dan mengurangkan daya saing Malaysia. Tetapi kini, manifesto diumumkan beliau mahu menaikkan kadar itu kepada RM1,500 sebulan.

Secara ringkasnya, Mahathir sudah tentu merasa sangat kecewa dan egonya terluka akibat layanan diberikan terhadap dua anaknya, Mukhriz dan Proton sepanjang 10 bulan itu.

Mahathir sudah tentu menyalahkan Najib dan kekecewaan ini diterjemahkan melalui kemarahan dan keinginan untuk membalas dendam.

Pada awalnya, Mahathir mengorak langkah dan cuba untuk mengguling Najib melalui pengaruh dalam parti namun gagal. Ini termasuk menggunakan isu RM2.6 bilion dan siasatan 1MDB.

Dua bulan selepas Tan Sri Muhyiddin dipecat dari jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin memberitahu ahli Majlis Tertinggi Umno bahawa sememangnya wujud konspirasi untuk menggulingkan Najib tetapi beliau mendakwa tidak terlibat.

Muhyiddin turut merujuk kepada RM2.6 bilion yang dimasukkan ke dalam akaun Najib dan berkata beliau tidak mempunyai masalah terhadap dana berkenaan kerana ia sememangnya adalah amalan dari dahulu lagi di mana wujud satu akaun khas bagi Presiden Umno.

Sehingga kini, Tan Sri Muhyiddin enggan mengesahkan atau menafikan apa yang dikatakan itu biarpun wujud satu rakaman audio pengakuannya yang sudah disebarkan dua tahun lalu.

Selepas berusaha lebih 2 tahun dan masih gagal menggulingkan Najib ketika Mahathir masih lagi dalam Umno, Mahathir kemudian meninggalkan Umno untuk bekerjasama dengan Pakatan termasuk musuh utamanya, Anwar Ibrahim dan DAP.

Ramai pemimpin DAP berulangkali menyatakan mereka hanya menggunakan Mahathir dan Mahathir tidak kisah dipergunakan asalkan matlamat utamanya tercapai, iaitu membalas dendam.
Anda juga mungkin terfikir apakah konsesi yang diberikan Mahathir kepada DAP serta PKR untuk menyatakan persetujuan bekerjasama.

Ini juga menjelaskan mengapa Mahathir membuat banyak pusingan U terhadap prinsip yang dilaungkan sebelum ini termasuk mengenai Anwar, ISA, gaji minimum, GST, DAP, mengawal media dan sebagainya.

Beliau hanya menggunakan apa sahaja cara yang boleh, bercakap apa dikehendakinya serta sanggup berbuat apa sahaja untuk mencapai hasrat untuk membalas dendam.

Dan ini sangat ketata ketika pelancaran manifesto Pakatan bagi PRU14, di mana 45 minit dihabiskan Mahathir untuk menyebut nama Najib beratus kali dan hanya beberapa kali sahaja menyebut tentang manifesto berkenaan.

Sebagai peneraju Pakatan Harapan dan calon Perdana Menteri, Tun Mahathir sepatutnya memberi penjelasan kepada rakyat betapa hebatnya manifesto mereka, apa manifesto mereka yang boleh selesaikan, bagaimana rakyat mendapat manfaat dan apa visinya untuk negara ini.

Sebaliknya, beliau menggunakan platform itu untuk menyerang secara peribadi terhadap Najib ekoran dendam menggunungnya.

Apapun, saya tidak tahu sama ada Mahathir sedar apa yang termaktub dalam manifesto mereka. Bukannya beliau tidak peduli tetapi dendam kesumatnya melangkaui segala-galanya, termasuk masa depan negaranya.


Eric See-To.

Saksi dengan sendiri dendam peribadi Tun Mahathir.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mahathir's two sons: the 10 months that led to PPBM's creation

Last week's revelation by Federal Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri that Tun Mahathir is going against Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib is driven by personal anger (or dendam) due to several personal demands to Najib that were rejected deserves serious thought.

Among other things, Ismal Sabri mentioned that Najib had rejected Tun Mahathir's requesst to privatize MAS to a friend, that another friend's sports betting monopoly license be approved as well as billions in aid to Proton.



Let us go one step further to the events immediately preceding to the famous announcement in August 2014 that he had withdrawn support for Najib.

I believe that these events over the 10 months period was critical to drive Tun Mahathir over the edge to go against Najib at all cost - which eventually led to the formation of Parti Prribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Mahathir's candidacy to be Prime Minister again.

In September 2013, Tun Mahathir's son Mukhriz Mahathir defied calls that the status quo for the three Vice Presidents of UMNO to be maintained and decided to enter into the contest -  despite Mukhriz having lost badly in the UMNO youth head election in 2008.

Predictably, Mukhriz lost again in VP race with the results announced on October 21 2013.

Tun Mahathir was obviously angry about his son's loss and had blamed Dato' Sri Najib Razak for not supporting his son and accused Najib of supported his cousin Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who had beat Mukhriz in the final position for Vice President.

A foreign news portal at that time had quoted Mahathir's angry response:

“We are told that they’ve eliminated corruption during the recent UMNO election, I am not convinced,” Mahathir told a conference at the country’s administrative capital of Putra Jaya. Although he didn’t mention Najib by name, he said: “I think there was a lot of money involved, going into the millions, and loads of people who should not be getting votes were getting votes because of the money they spent.”

Further disappointment followed for both the father and son.

Although Mukhriz had publicly stated his desire to be appointed by the president as one of the members of UMNO's Supreme council member, his name was left out in the 30 November 2013 announcement.

Dato' Sri Najib had believed that Mukhriz was just given the post of Menteri Besar of Kedah and needed more experience and to prove himself before moving up the party. Furthermore, Mukhriz will still be attending supreme council meetings by virtue of his position as a Mentri Besar of a state. Therefore, there was no need for the additional appointment to be a member of the council.

I am sure Tun Mahathir would not have been very pleased with this turn of events as Mahathir had said many times that "they still owe it all to me" and believed that he had elevated Najib as the son of Tun Razak to be president and thus the favour should be returned to his son Mukhriz.

It is no surprise then that on the first day of  the UMNO General Assembly on December 2, 2013, Mahathir shocked many by announcing that he was resigning as Petronas' advisor.

He had cited that at 88 years old he is too old and that doctors had advised him to step down for health reasons.

Due to the recent events and the timing, many were not fooled at this open attempt by Mahathir to show his displeasure at Najib for his son's loss.  The international news agency Reuters commented in their report about Mahathir's resignation:

"His (Mahathir) departure, however, comes as relations with Prime Minister Najib Razak have grown strained in recent months, particularly over Najib’s refusal to endorse Mahathir’s son for an influential ruling party post. The Petronas board reports directly to the prime minister."

Despite his reason of ill-health and being too old to be Petronas advisor, Mahathir then took up the more strenuous position of Chairman of Proton  Bhd 5 months later in May 2014 .

It is generally acknowledged that Mahathir had long considered Proton as his baby, his other son if you may.

Proton had been running considerable losses since DRB-Hicom, owned by his long-time friend Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar, took the company two years ago. In doing so, Proton no longer belongs to the government and has become a 100% privately-owned company.

Proton was deep in the red and had become a serious problem for the DRB-Hicom group. Over the past year before Mahathir became Chairman, the government had rejected repeated request from Proton for billions in financial aid on the grounds that it was  a private company.

It is generally acknowledged that making Mahathir as Chairman of Proton was to apply pressure on the government to approve a free grant of RM3 billion to Proton as aid.

"With Dr M at Proton, Putrajaya can’t say ‘no’ to pleas for money",
said one report

"The emergence of 88-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Proton’s chairman will strengthen the national carmaker’s hand against the government . According to some people, it was Mahathir’s disappointment at the refusal of both Petroliam Nasional Bhd and the government to fund Proton’s RM3 billion transformation plan that prompted him to take on a more prominent role in the national carmaker," reported The Edge at that time.

Mahathir himself had also repeatedly said that Proton deserves such grants from the government as Proton rightfully deserve it.

However, this was not to be as the government continued to reject the request the request which led to Mahathir announcing he was withdrawing support for Najib's government in his blog-post on 18 August 2014.

The reasons he gave then were unhappiness over the government policies of abolishing ISA, giving out BR1M, implementing the minimum wage and an accusation that Najib prioritized imported products over local products which was generally believed to refer to Proton.

Nothing was said about RM2.6 billion or 1MDB in his announcement then.

Ironically as the Pakatan's manifesto of GE14 shows,  Mahathir has now U-Turned on the majority of those unhappiness that Mahathir had cited then in the form of more freedom, continuation of BR1M as well as further increasing minimum wage by 50% to RM1,500 per month.

Previously Mahathir had written that the govt imposing a minimum wage of RM900 per month in the year 2011 would cause great inflation, cause our businesses to go into ruin and reduce the competitiveness of Malaysia. But now, his own manifesto wants to increase this to RM1,5000 per month.

On hindsight, Mahathir must have felt deep disappointment and that his ego has been severely hurt over the treatment of his two prized sons in a span of 10 months - Mukhriz and Proton.

He would have held Najib personally responsible and this disappointment would have manifested itself as burning anger and a great need for revenge.

Initially, Mahathir had schemed and tried for two years to topple Najib by working with others within UMNO but failed. This includes the RM2.6 billion and 1MDB investigations

Two months after Tan Sri Muhyiddin was removed as Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin had told the UMNO Supreme Council members that there're was indeed a conspiracy to topple Najib but that he was not involved. Muhyiddin also referred to the RM2.6 billion in Najib's account and said then he had no problems with this as he knows that it has always been the practice from way back when (dari dulu lagi) that there is a special UMNO president's account.

Until today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin refuses to confirm nor deny what he said then even though an audio of his admission had been leaked for more than two years.

After scheming for more than 2 years and failing to topple Najib while Mahathir was still in UMNO, Mahathir then left UMNO to work with Pakatan - including his former mortal enemies Anwar Ibrahim and DAP.

Many DAP leaders had repeatedly said they were using Mahathir but Mahathir does not mind being used as long as he gets his goal to exact personal revenge.

You also have to wonder what concessions that Mahathir had given to DAP and PKR to strike this unlikely alliance.

This would also explain why Tun Maahthir has U-turned on almost every principle that he had before - Anwar, ISA, minimum wage, GST, DAP, controlling the press etc.

He is merely using all possible angles, saying whatever he wants and doing whatever it takes to exact his personal revenge and smooth his personal dendam.

Nothing is more telling than during the launch of the Pakatan Manifeto for GE14 weeks ago where his 45 minutes speech only mentioned the items in the manifesto a couple of times but he mentioned Najib's name more than one hundred times.

As the head of Pakatan Harapan and the Prime Miinister candidate, Tun Mahathir should have explained to the people how wonderful his manifesto is, what problems this manifesto will solve, how the people will benefit and what his vision for the country is.

Instead he used this golden platform to launch another series of personal attacks against Najib to assuage his personal anger.

Truth be told, I am not even certain that Mahathir knows what is actually inside the manifesto . Not that he cares as his need for revenge is above everything else - even his own country's future.

Eric See-To.

Watch for yourself the personal hatred of this person:




 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

FAQ to common misconceptions about GST in Malaysia

Q1. Is GST a regressive tax, that is the poor will be taxed more heavily than the rich?

Answer: By itself, it would be. However in Malaysia's implementation there are thousands of items that have been exempted while BR1M was introduced and increased.

On top of this, our personal income tax was reduced and restructured which means households earning RM4,000 per month no longer needs to pay any tax.

Take the example of a household earning RM3,000 per month which now no longer pays any income tax - unlike in the Mahathir era.

This household would have the usual monthly payments such as for rent, insurance, utilities, petrol, public transpiration, loan repayments or savings. All of these are exempted from GST.

Another RM1,000 would also be spent per month for fresh food such as rice, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits. Again, all of these are exempted from GST.

So, it is possible that this household spends RM1,000 per month on goods and services that are GST-taxable.

RM1,000 X 6% = RM60 per month in GST or RM720 per year.

However, this household is eligible for BR1M of RM1,200 per year.

Thus this household actually gets back RM480 per year (RM1,200 minus RM720).benefit - which means they are being NEGATIVELY taxed.

In fact, the net benefit is even more as under the previous sales and service tax (SST) system, this household would probably have paid for these taxes without realizing it. For example, cars and spare parts have reduced in price under GST compared to SST while imported fruits such as apples or oranges had a 10% sales tax which is now abolished and became exempted from GST.

So, the lower income household is actually a net beneficiary of the GST system.

Rich people would be spending a lot more on higher value purchases, eating out, entertainment etc.. they will surely be paying a lot more in GST every month compared to the lower-income families.

Therefore the Malaysian GST system is NOT a regressive system that oppresses the lower-income families. It is a progressive system where the lower-income families have become a net beneficiary and is helping to improve our income equality.
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Q2. Which of the estimated 174 countries in the world have abolished GST after implementing it?

Answer: None.
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Q3. Is the GST an additional tax that burdens the rakyat?


Answer: In the Malaysian context and unlike some other countries implementing GST such as UAE or Saudi Arabia, the implementation of our GST cannot be considered as an additional tax.

In preparation for GST and on the day of implementation, corporate taxes were reduced from 28% to 24% while personal income taxes were also restructured and reduced from 28% to 24%. As a result, many middle income people now pay a lot less personal income taxes while the lower income groups no longer needs to pay any personal income tax.

On top of that, Sales Tax of up to 20% and Service tax of 6% were also abolished while BR1M was introduced and increased.
  
Therefore, the GST in Malaysia CANNOT be considered an additional tax but is a reformation of our taxation system.

Many people only see GST now but forgot about the reductions and abolishment of other taxes as well as increased benefit payments that came with GST.
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Q4. I have heard that GST is "Haram" under Islam?
Answer: While I am not qualified to answer this on a religious basis, but the fact is that many countries that consider itself as Islamic countries have implemented GST.

Other than Iran which introduced GST in 2008, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have now implemented it starting in 2018 while countries such as Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain will implement their GST next year.
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Q5. Does the GST contribute to inflation?
Answer: Yes and no. Depending on the context you mean.

When GST was introduced, prices for some goods increased while others such as cars, spare parts and certain white goods reduced due to GST replacing the higher sales tax of 10%.

Here is an archive of how car prices reduced after GST was introduced in April 2015:
http://says.com/my/news/rm10-000-off-a-merc-and-other-car-price-reductions-thanks-to-gst

Any changes in tax will contribute to inflation but this is a ONE TIME effect. GST, like any changes in tax cannot by itself contribute to a sustained increase in inflation or change the inflation rate after the initial period of its introduction.

It is now coming up to 3 years since GST was implemented and it is simply no longer possible for GST to continue influencing inflation rate since the GST rate did not increase since it was implemented.

Here is a good article on the long term effects of GST (or VAT) on inflation: http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/apr/16vat.htm

If you believe this is possible then you will have to believe that sales or service tax that was introduced in Malaysia decades ago would have been contributing to inflation for decades. It is simply not possible.

As explained above, a change in taxes will produce a one time increase in inflation. In Pakatan's case, they intend to keep GST but reduce it to 0% and bring back Sales Tax, Service Tax while introducing inheritance tax as well as Capital Gains Tax.

These new changes in tax proposed by Pakatan will produce another round of inflation as traders will use this as an excuse to raise prices again by claiming they have to bear new taxes will still having to pay for the administrative cost of maintaining the GST system.
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Q6. If corporate taxes and personal income taxes have been reduced while sales tax and service tax have been abolished, why is the govt collecting more money than before? Where does this extra money come from?

Answer: Honest tax-paying citizens and companies will enjoy the reduction.

However, those who have never reported or under-reported income or corporate taxes before, those running illegal businesses (or the so-called black economy) such as loan-sharks, prostitution, illegal gambling, tourists and foreign workers who do not pay any income taxes will no longer be able to escape the GST.

The additional collection comes from these groups.
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Q7. Is the govt is using GST money to bail-out 1MDB/Govt/mismanagement/corruption etc ?

Answer:  If the purpose is simply to get additional revenue from govt to bail out this and that, the simplest thing for govt to do is to stop reducing all those corporate and income tax and simply increase existing taxes such as sales or service tax.

Why the need to implement a "new" visible tax like GST and invite political attacks?

Anyway, as answered in Q3. GST cannot be considered as an additional tax that is meant to burden the rakyat but seen as a wide-ranging tax and benefits transformation to increase our country's competitiveness, reduce leakages in blanket subsidies, reduce our country's reliance on petroleum, reduce tax evasion, reduce income inequality as well as ensure that aid reaches only to those who need it and not to the rich.

In preparation for GST and on the day of implementation, corporate taxes were reduced from 28% to 24% while personal income taxes were also restructured and reduced from 28% to 24%. As a result, many middle income people now pay a lot less personal income taxes while the lower income groups no longer needs to pay any personal income tax.

On top of that, Sales Tax of up to 20% and Service tax of 6% were also abolished while BR1M was introduced and increased.
  
Many people only see GST but forgot about the reductions of taxes, abolishment taxes, reduction in petroleum revenue as well as increased BR1M benefit payments that came with GST.

As you see from that table and taking into account the losses from the huge 80% drop in global oil prices in recent years, the net effect of all these changes and payments is almost neutral or negative for the govt.

Which makes it strange that Pakatan politicians keeps mentioning about the RM40 billion collection in GST but does not talk about the RM40 billion loss in petroleum revenues, the RM10 billion loss from corporate and personal income tax reductions, the RM18 billion loss in sales and service tax nor the RM7 billion paid in BR1M.

Despite continued positive GDP growth, these changes are why total yearly Federal Govt revenues for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 are in the RM220 billion to RM230 billion range - almost comparable to the RM220 billion revenues that the govt collected in the year 2014 when GST has not been implemented yet.

Since the total revenues remains about the same, the question of GST being additional money to be used to bail-out anything does not arise at all.

If there was really a need to "bail-out" anything then the government could have used Petronas money - just like how Tun Mahathir kept using Petronas money to bail this or that out. This would be the easiest thing for PM Najib to do but he does not do so.

As at end 2017, Petronas' cash balance has jumped to RM128.2 billion.
 

Unlike Tun Mahathir, PM Najib prefers to let Petronas keep most of its cash so that it can expand its business in its own field to be a world class petroleum giant.
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Q8. The government is not transparent in showing how GST money is being spent.
Answer: GST revenue is treated the same as any other collections from the govt including corporate tax, income tax, duties, petroleum revenues, dividends received - meaning they are put into the government consolidated funds.

GST revenue is not treated separately nor spent separately.

How the government then spends these consolidated funds (which includes GST revenue) is detailed every year in our budget and then audited by the Auditor-General.


Rekod Mahathir dan Pakatan Dalam Mengurangkan Jumlah Hutang Kurang Menyakinkan

Rasa lucu melihat kenyataan terkini Tun Dr Mahathir yang mendakwa bahawa kononnya manifesto Pakatan akan berjaya mengurangkan hutang Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Manifesto Pakatan untuk PRU14 ini jika diteliti hanyalah berkisar mengenai hasrat mereka yang ingin memansuh atau menghapuskan pelbagai perkara dan dalam masa yang sama menawarkan pelbagai bentuk dedak kepada rakyat termasuklah yang tak masuk akal seperti bayaran RM250 sebulan untuk setiap pekerja yang menerima upah pada kadar yang minimum.

Malah hakikatnya, dalam manifesto tersebut, tiada pun penjelasan tentang bagaimana mereka bercadang untuk mengurangkan defisit ataupun hutang kerajaan.
Rekod prestasi Kerajaan Selangor dan Pulau Pinang sejak ia jatuh ke bawah kawalan mereka pada tahun 2008 merupakan petunjuk jelas bahawasanya Pakatan akan gagal membiayai perbelanjaan tahunan.

Perbelanjaan operasi tahunan bagi kedua-dua negeri telah meningkat dengan ketara khususnya Kerajaan Pulau Pinang yang melonjak tinggi dengan peningkatan sebanyak 500% sejak 2008!

Dan bagi membiayai jumlah perbelanjaan yang melambung ini, Kerajaan Pulau Pinang terpaksa menjual dan menggadaikan tanah dan aset negeri yang bernilai hampir RM40 bilion, dalam pada kedua-dua kerajaan negeri itu juga telah menaikkan kadar caj yang dikenakan ke atas pemaju dan hartanah yang menyumbang kepada kenaikan kosnya.

Kerajaan DAP Pulau Pinang telah menjual banyak tanah sejak mengambil alih pada tahun 2008. Saya anggarkan bahawa kini hanya berbaki kurang daripada 5% tanah di Pulau Pinang yang masih dimiliki oleh kerajaan negeri, berbanding 18% pada tahun 2008.

Rakyat mungkin masih belum merasakannya hari ini tetapi ia pasti akan memberi kesan buruk kepada generasi yang akan datang. Semuanya itu gara-gara mereka (Pakatan) terdesak dan terpaksa mencari sumber untuk membiayai perbelanjaan operasi tahunan yang melonjak naik sebanyak 500%.

Sudah tentu tabiat untuk menjual asset tetap bagi menampung kos operasi bukanlah suatu cara pentadbiran yang baik.

Di Pulau Pinang, kebanyakan caj pemaju telah meningkat sebanyak dua dan tiga kali ganda, dan kos ini pula akhirnya akan terpaksa ditanggung oleh rakyat.

Peningkatan kos ini pula telah membawa kepada pengenaan kadar cukai setinggi RM120 untuk setiap kaki persegi ke atas hartanah di Pulau Pinang, yang kemudiannya akan ditanggung oleh rakyat sama ada dalam bentuk pinjaman harta tanah yang lebih tinggi, ataupun peningkatan kadar sewa yang sekaligus mengakibatkan kenaikan kos sara hidup rakyat.

Selain itu, ramai yang telah mula sedar bahawa penurunan sebanyak 95% jumlah hutang Kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang yang sentiasa dicanangkan DAP malah mereka cuba pula mengambil kredit daripadanya itu sebenarnya bukannya atas inisiatif ataupun usaha DAP dan Pakatan.

Sebaliknya penurunan itu berlaku adalah disebabkan oleh tindakan Kerajaan Persekutuan yang mengubah hutang air kerajaan Pulau Pinang menjadi kaedah pembayaran pajakan tahunan bagi tempoh 45 tahun.

Pada tahun kedua selepas Azmin Ali dilantik sebagai Menteri Besar, Selangor juga kembali mengalami defisit pada tahun 2016. Azmin juga telah menandatangani satu perjanjian untuk meminjam sebanyak RM7 bilion daripada Kerajaan Persekutuan bagi melakukan penstrukturan semula kemudahan air Selangor.

Bagi Tun Mahathir pula, rekod pengurangan hutangnya adalah terlalu rapuh. Sejak tahun 1981 sehingga 2003, Tun Mahathir meningkatkan saiz hutang kerajaan sebanyak 706%.

Untuk tempoh 6 tahun terakhir beliau sebagai Perdana Menteri, iaitu dari tahun 1998 hingga 2003, Mahathir telah meningkatkan hutang kerajaan sebanyak 112% apabila beliau secara konsistennya mengamalkan belanjawan yang defisit pada kadar antara 4% hingga 6%, berbanding dengan kadar defisit bajet semasa yang hanya pada kadar serendah antara 2.8% hingga 3% yang kita amalkan kini.

Tambahan lagi, hakikat bahawasanya dalam 6 tahun pertama beliau berkuasa, Dr Mahathir  telah menggandakan Nisbah Hutang berbanding KDNK (Debt to GDP ratio) kita lebih daripada dua kali ganda iaitu daripada hanya 44% pada tahun 1980 kepada setinggi 103.4% pada tahun 1986!

 

Nisbah ini juga kekal berada di atas 60% selama lebih daripada satu dekad di bawah Tun Mahathir.

Akibatnya, Kadar Pembayaran Hutang Negara (nisbah jumlah bayaran hutang kerajaan berbanding KDNK) kita adalah setinggi 31.8% pada tahun 1987 dan kekal melebihi 20% selama bertahun-tahun.
Cuba bandingkan kadar 103.4% dan 60% di atas dengan Nisbah Hutang Kepada KDNK kita sekarang yang sentiasa konsisten pada 50%.

Kemudian bandingkan pula Kadar Pembayaran Hutang Negara yang setinggi 31.8% dan 20% semasa era Tun Mahathir di atas dengan Kadar Pembayaran Hutang Negara di bawah PM Najib yang kini stabil pada kadar 12%.
 

Satu-satunya masa di mana hutang kerajaan melonjak dengan ketara di era Najib adalah ketika beliau mengambil alih jawatan Perdana Menteri pada tahun 2009, di mana beliau telah memperkenalkan 3 pakej rangsangan ekonomi yang menyebabkan hutang kita melonjak dari 40% kepada 50.8% dalam tempoh satu tahun.

Semua itu berpunca daripada kejatuhan dalam pelaburan dan jumlah eksport semasa dunia dilanda Kemelesetan Ekonomi yang teruk (yang terburuk sejak 1930) antara tahun 2007 dan 2012.

Pada masa inilah kerajaan Amerika Syarikat sendiri hinggakan terpaksa menjamin/menyelamatkan (bailout) Citibank, General Motors, AIG dan banyak lagi.

Lantaran pakej rangsangan tersebut, yang telah mengepam sejumlah besar wang ke dalam ekonomi kitalah, maka ekonomi Malaysia berjaya dipulihkan dengan cepat, lebih cepat berbanding negara-negara kuasa ekonomi dunia.

Walaupun ramai yang tidak menyedari akan skala dan saiz kemusnahan yang mungkin berpotensi untuk berlaku sekiranya langkah-langkah rangsangan (3 Pakej Ransangan) yang meningkatkan hutang itu tidak diambil.

Ironinya, ramai rakyat Malaysia yang menyalahkan PM Najib kerana meningkatkan hutang kerajaan itu sebenarnya telah menyalahkan beliau atas 'kesalahan' telah menyelamatkan ekonomi Malaysia pada tahun 2009.

Berdasarkan rekod pencapaian Mahathir dan Pakatan serta manifesto "mansuh everything" mereka yang tidak bertanggungjawab itu, bolehlah kita anggap bahawasanya sekiranya mereka berjaya, maka hutang kerajaan hampir pasti akan meroket tinggi.

Eric See-To.

Monday, March 12, 2018

8 Soal Jawab Mengenai GST (FAQ)


S1: Adakah GST merupakan cukai regresif, iaitu orang miskin juga akan dikenakan cukai lebih tinggi dari orang kaya?

Jawapan: Dari segi pelaksanaannya mungkin ada dikenakan cukai. Bagaimanapun di Malaysia, pelaksanaannya dilakukan dengan mengecualikan beribu item barangan dari dikenakan cukai, dan sementara itu juga BR1M telah diperkenalkan dan kadar bayarannya sentiasa meningkat.

Malahan, cukai pendapatan persendirian juga telah dikurangkan dan distruktur semula di mana pendapatan di bawah RM4,000 sebulan tidak lagi dikenakan cukai.
Mengambil  kira itu juga, pendapatan isi rumah RM3,000 sebulan juga tidak dikenakan cukai – berbanding ketika era Mahathir.

Pendapatan isi rumah ini kebiasaanya digunakan setiap bulan untuk membayar sewaan, utiliti, petrol, pengangkutan awam, bayaran balik pinjaman atau simpanan. Semua ini dikecualikan dari dikenakan GST.

Dalam pada itu, ada juga pendapatan isi rumah akan membelanjakan RM1,000 sebulan ke atas barangan atau perkhidmatan yang dikenakan bayaran GST.
RM1,000 X 6% =RM60 sebulan untuk GST atau RM720 setahun.

Bagaimanapun, isi rumah tersebut layak untuk mendapat BR1M berjumlah RM1,200 setahun.
Bermakna, isi rumah tersebut mendapat tambahan RM480 setahun (RM1,200 tolak RM720)  – dan itu mereka ini dikenakan negatif cukai.

Malahan, faedah yang mereka dapat ini lebih tinggi tidak sebagaimana dengan sistem cukai jualan dan perkhidmatan (SST) sebelum ini di mana isu rumah tersebut terpaksa membayar cukai tanpa mereka sedari. Sebagai contohnya, kereta dan alat ganti telah turun harganya di bawah GST berbanding dengan SST di mana pengimport buahan seperti apple atau oren dikenakan 10% cukai jualan tetapi kini telah dihapuskan dan dikecualikan dari GST.

Oleh itu, isi rumah yang berpendapatan rendah sebenarnya mendapat faedah dari sistem GST ini.

Orang kaya pada kebiasaannya akan berbelanja lebih ke atas nilai barangan yang lebih tinggi, makan di luar, hiburan dan lain-lain lagi.. mereka ini sudah pasti akan membayar lebih ke atas GST pada setiap bulan berbanding dengan keluarga yang berpendapatan rendah.

Maka, sistem GST di Malaysia BUKAN sistem yang regresif yang menekan keluarga yang berpendapatan rendah. Ianya adalah sistem yang progresif di mana keluarga yang berpendapatan rendah akan mendapat faedah dan ini sudah tentu membantu dari sudut kesaksamaan pendapatan.

S2: Ada atau tidak yang dianggarkan sebanyak 170 buah negara yang telah menghapuskan GST setelah dilaksanakan?

Jawapan: Tidak ada.


S3. Adakah GST sebagai tambahan cukai yang membebankan rakyat?

Jawapan: Di dalam konteks Malaysia dan tidak seperti di lain-lain negara yang melaksanakan GST seperti di UAE dan Arab Saudi, pelaksanaan GST oleh kita ini tidak boleh dianggap sebagai tambahan cukai.

Semasa persediaan untuk GST ini dan pada hari pelaksanaannya, cukai korporat telah dikurangkan dari 28% kepada 24% sementara cukai pendapatan individu juga telah distruktur semula dan dikurangkan dari 28% kepada 24%. Sebagai kesannya, ramai yang di dalam kumpulan pendapatan sederhana kini membayar cukai yang lebih rendah sementara yang berpendapat rendah tidak lagi dikenakan membayar cukai pendapatan individu.

Malahan juga, Cukai Jualan sebanyak 20% dan Cukai Perkhidmatan sebanyak 6% telah dihapuskan sementara BR1M telah diperkenal dan dilaksanakan.

Oleh itu, GST di Malaysia TIDAK BOLEH dianggap sebagai tambahan cukai tetapi sebagai perubahan di dalam sistem pencukaian kita.

Ramai orang hanya melihat kepada aspek GST sahaja tetapi tidak menyedari pengurangan dan penghapusan lain-lain bentuk cukai dan dalam masa yang sama menerima faedah dari pembayaran hasil dari GST.
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S4. Saya mendengar bahawa GST adalah “haram” di dalam Islam?

Jawapan: Walaupun saya bukanlah ahli untuk menjawab perkara ini dari sudut agama, tetapi hakikatnya banyak negara-negara telah mempertimbangkan pelaksanaan GST ini termasuk dari negara-negara Islam.

Selain dari Iran yang telah memperkenalkan GST dalam than 2008, Arab Saudi dan UAE kini mulai melaksanakan GST pada tahun 2018 sementara negara Oman, Kuwait dan Bahrain akan melaksanakan GST pada tahun hadapan.


S5. Adakah GST menyebabkan inflasi?

Jawapan: Ya dan Tidak. Bergantung kepada konteks yang anda maksudkan.

Apabila GST diperkenalkan, harga untuk beberapa barangan akan naik sementara kereta, alat ganti dan beberapa barangan elektrik contohnya menurun kerana GST akan menggantikan 10% cukai jualan yang tinggi selama ini.

Di sini ditunjukkan bagaimana harga jualan kereta telah menurun selepas GST diperkenalkan pada bulan April 2015:
http://says.com/my/news/rm10-000-off-a-merc-and-other-car-price-reductions-thanks-to-gst

Sebarang perubahan di dalam percukaian akan menyebabkan inflasi tetapi kesannya hanyalah SEKALI SAHAJA, GST seperti lain-lain percukaian tidak secara sendiri menyebabkan kenaikan mendadak inflasi atau perubahan kadar inflasi selepas tempoh awal pelaksanaannya.

Kini setelah 3 tahun pelaksanaan GST dan bukan lagi kerana GST menjadi penyebab kepada kenaikan inflasi kerana kadar GST tidak meningkat sejak ianya dilaksanakan.

Di sini dilampirkan sebuah artikel yang bagus mengenai kesan jangka panjang GST (atau VAT) ke atas inflasi:  http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/apr/16vat.htm

Jika anda percaya ianya boleh berlaku, maka anda akan mempercayai bahawa cukai jualan dan perkhidmatan yang dilaksanakan di Malaysia sejak berdekad-dekad lalu telah menyebabkan kepada inflasi selama ini. Ini mungkin tidak mustahil.

Sebagaimana yang diterangkan di atas, perubahan di dalam percukaian akan menyebabkan kenaikan satu tahap di dalam inflasi. Di dalam kes Pakatan, mereka bercadang untuk mengekalkan GST tetapi mengurangkannya kepada 0% dan mewujudkan kembali Cukai Jualan dan Cukai Perkhidmatan, Cukai warisan dan cukai hasil keuntungan.

Perubahan cukai-cukai baru yang dicadangkan oleh Pakatan akan menyebabkan  sekali lagi kitaran inflasi kepada para peniaga yang akan menggunakannya sebagai alasan untuk menaikkan harga jualan sekali lagi dengan mendakwa mereka terpaksa menanggung cukai-cukai yang baru ini sementara terpaksa membayar cukai pentadbiran bagi mengekalkan GST di dalam sistem.


S6. Jika cukai korporat dan cukai pendapatan individu dikurangkan sementara cukai jualan dan perkhidmatan telah dihapuskan, bagaimana pihak kerajaan mendapat lebih banyak pendapatan berbanding dahulu? Dari mana sumber pendapatan tambahan ini?

Jawapan: Warganegara pembayar cukai yang jujur dan syarikat akan menikmati pengurangan cukai ini.

Bagaimanapun, bagi mereka yang tidak pernah melaporkan atau melaporkan pendapatan kurang dari sebenar atau korporat sebelum itu, mereka yang menjalankan perniagaan haram (atau disebut sebagai “black economy”) seperti peminjam wang haram, pelacuran, perjudian haram, pelancong atau pekerja asing yang tidak membayar apa-apa cukai pendapatan tidak lagi terlepas dari GST.

Kutipan tambahan ini datangnya dari kumpulan-kumpulan seperti ini.
Adalah adil dan wajar apabila anda berbelanja dan mampu untuk berbelanja maka anda akan membayar GST secara langsung.


S7. Adakah kerajaan menggunakan wang GST untuk menyelamatkan 1MDB/kerajaan/salah urus/rasuah dan lain-lain?

Jawapan:  Kalau niat kerajaan hanya untuk mengutip lebih banyak wang untuk selamat/bail-out ini atau itu, ia jauh lebih senang untuk kerajaan untuk berhenti menurunkan cukai korporat dan cukai peribadi dan menaikkan cukai-cukai sedia-ada macam cukai jualan dan cukai servis.

Mengapa pula susah-susah nak memperkenalkan cukai "baru" seperti GST yang boleh digunakan oleh pembangkang di dalam serangan politik?

Sebagaimana yang dijawab pada soalan ke-3. GST tidak boleh dianggap sebagai cukai tambahan tetapi harus dilihat sebagai satu transformasi percukaian yang memberikan manfaat yang meluas bagi meningkatkan daya saing negara, mengurangkan kebocoran subsidi terlindung, mengurangkan pergantungan negara terhadap petroleum, mengurangkan pengelakan cukai, mengurangkan jurang pendapatan serta memastikan bantuan yang sewajarnya hanya diberikan kepada golongan yang memerlukan dan bukannya kepada orang kaya.
Sebagai persediaan untuk melaksanakan GST, cukai korporat telah dikurangkan dari 28% kepada 24% manakala cukai pendapatan peribadi juga disusun semula dan dikurangkan dari 28% kepada 24%.

Kumpulan berpendapatan rendah juga dikecualikan untuk membayar sebarang cukai pendapatan peribadi.

Diusamping itu, cukai jualan yang bernilai sehingga 20% serta cukai perkhidmatan sebanyak 6% juga dimansuhkan, manakala BR1M diperkenal serta dinaikkan.

Orang ramai hanya melihat GST tetapi terlupa perngurangan cukai, pemansuhan cukai, pengurangan hasil petroleum serta peningkatan bayaran BR1M kerana GST.

Sebagaimana yang anda lihat melalui jadual tersebut dan mengambil kira kerugian akibat kejatuhan 80% harga minyak dunia sejak 2014, kesan keseluruhan atas perubahan serta pembayaran yang perlu dilakukan kerajaan adalah menghampiri kadar neutral atau negatif.

Anehnya, ahli politik Pakatan sering menyebut jumlah kutipan GST sebanyak RM40 bilion, namun tidak menyentuh kerugian hasil petroleum RM40 bilion, kerugian RM10 bilion hasil dari pengurangan cukai pendapatan korporat dan peribadi, kerugian RM18 bilion dari cukai jualan dan servis mahupun RM7 bilion yang dibayar melalui BR1M.

Walaupun ada pertumbuhan KDNK positif berterusan, perubahan ini merupakan sebab mengapa jumlah pendapatan tahunan Kerajaan Persekutuan bagi tahun 2015, 2016 dan 2017 berada dalam lingkungan RM220 bilion hingga RM230 bilion – hampir sama dengan hasil RM220 bilion yang dikutip kerajaan pada tahun 2014 sebelum GST dilaksanakan.

Memandangkan jumlah pendapatan kerajaan tetap sama, persoalan GST dijadikan wang tambahan untuk menyelamatkan apa-apa perkara tidak seharusnya timbul sama sekali.


Lebih lagipun, kalau benar-benar kerajaan perlu wang untuk "bail-out", lebih senang untuk ambil dari Petronas begitu sahaja seperti Tun Mahathir menggunakan wang Petronas sesuka hati bila dia memerintah.

Pada akhir tahun 2017, Petronas ada baki wang tunai RM128.2 billion.



Tetapi, PM Najib Razak tidak sama dengan Tun Mahathir dan tidak mengusik wang Petronas kerana ingin Petronas menggunakan wang mereka untuk memperkembangkan bidang mereka.
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S8. Kerajaan tidak telus dalam menunjukkan bagaimana wang GST dibelanjakan.
Jawapan: Hasil GST dianggap sama seperti mana-mana kutipan lain kerjaan termasuk cukai korporat, cukai pendapatan, duti, pendapatan petroleum, dividen yang diterima – ini bermaksud ia diletakkan di dalam dana yang disatukan kerajaan.

Pendapatan GST tidak diasingkan dan tidak dibelanjakan secara berasingan.

Bagaimana kerajaan membelanjakan dana yang telah disatukan (termasuk hasil GST) itu diperincikan setiap tahun di dalam belanjawan dan diaudit oleh Ketua Audit negara.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Cost Comparison: Groceries today (12 Feb 2018) vs DAP's groceries (10 Nov 2011)

A 4.17% total price difference after 7 years?


Yesterday (11th Feb 2018), DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng held a press conference to demand the BN Federal government to take Mydin’s claims seriously saying that Low-income earners are worst hit when prices of basic goods increase.

“We want the government to come up with measures to fix this urgently. This is a big issue,” Guan Eng told reporters at Komtar.

As usual, Lim Guan Eng made wild claims that prices have increased steeply for the lower-income group but he does not offer any evidence.

Although BNSC does not dispute that there may be price increases for certain items, we dispute that all prices for a typical shopping list have increased as much as DAP and Pakatan claims.

Therefore, BNSC decided to do a comparison.

Since obtaining historical prices for groceries that cannot be disputed by DAP is difficult, we did the next best thing: We used DAP's own figures!

We obtained DAP's own groceries list that they themselves published on their publicity chief Tony Pua's blog more than 6 years ago on 10 Nov 2011 when DAP's relationship was not as rosy as yesterday.

DAP had done a comparison between the groceries prices for the then Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) with products that they had sourced from Carrefour to proof that KR1M prices then were not that much cheaper than elsewhere.

Here is their price comparison then:
DAP's own table from Nov 2011

At that time, DAP said their shopping basket primarily sourced from Carrefour's adjusted total cost RM120.53 versus the same basket from KR1M which totals RM130.49. The comparison then led to a series of arguments in the media at that time between DAP and Mydin.

Today, BNSC did a quick session of virtual shopping on Tesco Malaysia's online shopping platform at https://eshop.tesco.com.my/groceries/en-GB (since Carrefour is no longer operating locally).

Tesco claims that the prices on their shopping website includes the 6% GST and is the same as the prices as you will find in their stores.

As product packaging changes and stores do not always carry the same products, matching products and the product's quantity is impossible, Therefore just like what DAP did in 2011, we also adjusted the prices for some items to match the quantity listed in DAP's list.

We were also compare to match the brand and quantity of the products we chose with what DAP had chosen then as closely as possible.

Here is the result of our comparison shopping as at 12th Feb 2018) versus DAP's list on 10 Nov 2011.


BNSC's own comparison using TESCO prices on 12 Feb 2018

After adjusting for quantity, the total prices of items from TESCO on 12 Feb 2018 is RM125.56 (including GST)  - or 4.17% higher than DAP's total calculated price of RM120.54 more than 6 years ago on 10 Nov 2011.

A 3.5% increase in 6 years based on DAP's list is certainly much lower than what the DAP Secretary-General had accused yesterday.

BNSC is also surprised that the price difference after so many years is minimal.

Could this be due to more variety of products in the market leading to more affordable alternatives or is this due to increased competition among hypermarkets that has pushed some prices down? We cannot be sure.

Again, we stress that we do not dispute that the price of some goods may have increased since 2011 - as with any country in the world - but this best effort comparison uses publicly available price based on DAP's own list of goods.

Therefore, we invite DAP to go through our shopping list to determine if we have made any substantial mistakes in our products selection that could have led to significant differences with DAP's Carrefour generic products selection then.

DAP is also more than welcome to correct our list so that we can determine together what the actual price increase of their 2011 basket of goods is today.

The following is our online shopping trolley which we printed from the TESCO Malaysia online shopping site. It includes full product description, photos and their prices.
(Ignore the service fee, as it is for delivery services).
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Eric See-To and the BNSC Team.


Monday, October 2, 2017

RM15 billion private project: DAP Penang Govt owes the people an answer

Media Statement for immediate release

RM15 billion private project: DAP Penang Govt owes the people an answer

1. Over the past months, the Penang State Govt was unable or afraid to reply to my past statements on the controversial Penang Tunnel project.

2. Questions such as the following have been left unanswered:

a) Why did the state government had allowed the Penang Tunnel Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company to pre-sell RM3 billion worth of state land rights even though the roads project is 3 1/2 years late in starting construction,

b) why did the SPV company able to make profits  RM61.5mil from revenues of RM51.8mil in just one year if the RM220 million already paid by the state government to do reports are not 400% overpriced.

c) Did the Penang Govt break established procurement guidelines when awarding the tunnel mega-project to a company which auditors raised significant concerns and paid-up capital was 1,900 times below minimum JKR requirement?

d) Why Tunnel SPV condo project approved in 8 days but state affordable housing takes 223 days?

3. Many Malaysians find this surprising as the DAP had said they practice transparency and would normally be quick to defend but this time around, such questions on a RM6.34 billion project using public money has been met with deafening silence from them.

4. Nevertheless, I will continue to ask questions of DAP over this project even though they are unable or afraid to answer.

5.  Sources have provided me with information that the 50 acres of state land on Gurney Drive that the Penang Government had allowed the SPV company to pre-sell for RM2.83 billion to a listed company in a ceremony where the YAB Chief Minister was a witness will form part of a project called the Wellness City of Dreams.

6. This project, which will be 100% privately owned in a joint venture between the listed company and the Penang Tunnel SPV company, was announced to have a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM15 billion.

7. The layout of this project is as per the diagram below.


8.  Based on previous announcements by the DAP Penang Government, unspecified "hundreds of millions of Ringgit" of state funds will be used to build the "Gurney Wharf project" next to the City of Wellness project.  The Gurney Wharf project is promoted by the state government to be a major tourist attraction and will have specially-created sandy beaches, waterpark, public parks, skate parks, an a retail Seaside Retail F&B waterfronting public promenade, seafront dining facilities including the island’s famed hawker fare and a pier walk.

The Penang Government had said that they will pay for this Gurney Drive project.

9.  The Penang Government had also said that they will build a 8 lane road in front of this development along Gurney drive that will cost between RM300mil to RM400mil  The cost of building this road was also confirmed to be paid by the Penang State government.

10. Also, the Penang Government had also said that they will be building at their own cost, a 19.5kn Pan Island Link highway that will connect this development to the Penang International airport in a project that will cost RM7.5 billion. At RM385mil per km, this highway will be the most expensive in Malaysia by more than double.

11. It is clear that the Penang Govt is spending close to RM9 billion of state funds that is derived from state land and assets sale on projects that appears to make the RM15 billion GDV Wellness City of Dreams private project to be the main beneficiary.

12. On the other hand, the state-owned Penang Development Corp (PDC) has seen its profits and cash reserves plummet in recent years until it needed an emergency RM609mil soft loan from the state government early this year.

13. Questions are now raised why is the Penang Government seemingly benefitting a 100% privately owned property developer and not allowing the PDC to have a stake in this RM15 billion project - especially since the land that the project is on comes is state land and that the Penang Government is spending up to RM9 billion of state funds in projects that seems to help ensure the success of this Wellness City of Dreams project?

Datuk Eric See-To Choong,
Deputy Director,
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC).
Putrajaya.

3 October 2017

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