"MALAYSIA is very fortunate as the crude oil price has increased, which will buffer the impact of abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST)," says former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin. "That the impact from the abolition of GST can be reduced, mainly because the price of crude oil has gone up from US$52 to US$71 a barrel. "We consider ourselves lucky, the reasons (for the oil price spike) include the (improved) situation in the Korean Peninsula and Iran," Daim, who heads the Council of Eminent Persons set up by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was quoted as saying in an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau published today. He stressed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should use the additional income derived from the increased crude oil price to help the people, and not squander it. Ask if PH's election promise to abolish toll collection is workable, Daim said toll collection is being handled by former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, a member of the five-person council, but believed any problem can be overcome, the government just needs time to conduct its studies. Citing the example of GST, Daim said, "many people believed the PH government could not possibly remove GST, but it did it (GST will be 0% from June 1), and the people are happy." He said the PH government should understand that "the people are king"; therefore it has to fulfil its election promises, including abolishing toll collection. On Umno losing the power to govern, the former Umno veteran, who was sacked in the run-up to the general election, said: "the party have some good leaders such as former international trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, former culture, youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who are smart." "But they paid more attention to positions than the voices of the people. "I hope the PH government will learn this lesson, and that its fate is in the hand of the people. "If you made a promise (to the people), you must fulfil it." Asked if the country's economy now is worse than it was during the 1977 financial meltdown, Daim said this question can only be answered when the council has completed its findings. He said a report on the findings will be presented to the government. He also disclosed that Malaysia's richest man Robert Kuok, who is residing in Hong Kong, will fly in this week to attend the council meeting and provide input on primary commodities, real estate, and the hotel and tourism industries.