: The government has no plans to increase the six per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate even if the Barisan Nasional (BN) wins the coming 11th Sarawak state polls, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He rubbished state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen's propagation that the GST would be increased by at least 10 per cent following a drop in government revenue after the price of global oil dropped tremendously.
Describing this (the so-called increase in GST) as a big lie, he said: "There is no such plan to increase the GST in Sarawak or anywhere else in Malaysia, and as the finance minister, I give this commitment.
"We will maintain it at its current level," he said when addressing a meet-the-people session at the Eastwood Golf and Country Club here tonight.
Also present were Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and wife, Puan Sri Jamilah Anu and other state cabinet members.
Najib said even though oil price dropped in the world market, the government would look for other sources to finance development efforts in the country.
He said the opposition was expoliting the GST to make the rakyat hate the government.
He added the people should not allow themselves to be taken in by opposition rhetorics that GST was burdening them because without it, the government would not be able to build more schools, hospitals or health centres in rural and urban areas, especially in Sarawak and other states.
"We cannot even build the RM16 billion Pan Borneo Highway," he said.
Najib said the people should disassociate themselves from the politics of fear and hatred which the opposition wanted to spread.
"We do not subscribe to this politics of expediency. We do not seek to be a populist government. We are a government that always tries to do the right things for the people."
He said if there were people who wanted to change the government, they should not do it unconstitutionally as the ballot box was the best way to change a government.
"The people should learn from the bitter expriences of the Arab nations involved in the Arab Spring which had only resulted in chaos, domestic tension, economic failures and innocent people losing their lives," he added.
Meanwhile, Najib said political stability and overall security of the country was in very good hands through the BN government.
"We do face real threats from the Daesh extremists where more than 140 Malaysians have been known to be involved and seven had been killed as suicide bombers.
"In Sabah, we face the Abu Sayap terrorist groups. But we do know how to deal with these threats."
On the coming state election, Najib reminded the people to give Adenan and his team their fullest support as he had administered the state excellently.
"He must have the support of all. Give him and his team the biggest majority," he said.
Najib added as overall head of the BN, he would only recognise those who contested under the BN's dacing symbol.
Later, he announced a goverment grant of RM350 million to upgrade and expand the Miri Government Hospital, phase by phase under the 11th Malaysia Plan.