Support SST, Khairy tells BN senators

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional (BN) senators, who still hold the majority in the Dewan Negara, have been urged to vote for the Sales and Services Tax's (SST) implementation when the bill is tabled.

BN Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said this was necessary to ensure the government's revenue collection is not affected once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is abolished.

The GST Act 2014 is expected to be repealed when the Parliament convenes on July 16, with the rate now set to 0% from the previous 6%, as the government prepares to roll out SST on Sept 1.

"I am of the view that, when it involves the rakyat and country's interests, BN Dewan Negara members must provide cooperation to the agenda that is to be carried by the government.

"For instance, even though there are differences in opinion regarding the SST, BN senators need to pass the bill as without SST, the government's revenue collection will be affected and this will have an effect on the rakyat's well-being.

"It is on this principle of national and public interest, that BN must support (SST)," he said in a statement today.

GST was introduced on April 1, 2015 under former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to increase the government's revenue.

Although the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government holds the majority in the Dewan Rakyat, BN still maintains the majority in the Dewan Negara.

All bills that are tabled and passed in Parliament need to also be passed in the Dewan Negara before they can be made into laws.

Meanwhile, Khairy suggested that BN separate party duties from parliamentary roles, saying that the BN chairman must not necessarily become the opposition leader in parliament.

"In fact, the BN chairman needs to give his full attention to the restructuring effort of the coalition. The legislative duties in parliament can be carried out by another team based on the policies set by BN," he said.

Khairy added that once an opposition leader is picked, a shadow cabinet needs to be set up to allow the rakyat to refer to it as a means of check and balance to the government ministers.