Only one out of every 10 Malaysians pays tax: PM Najib
PEKAN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The current mix of low taxpayer base, increasing public spending, and resistance towards subsidy rationalisation is a recipe for trouble, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Revealing that only one out of every 10 Malaysians pays tax, Mr Najib said there is an urgent need to raise government revenue, while at the same time reining in increasing amounts spent on broad-based subsidies such as on fuel.
According to Mr Najib, who is also the finance minister, the number of civil servants would increase each year, but when revenue did not rise in tandem, the country would have to resort to borrowing. In the same vein, the proposed goods and services tax (GST) was one such measure that could lead to more revenue for the government, but has been opposed by some.
"When I do not announce any bonus during the tabling of the Budget, then it is not considered a good budget. But each time bonus is dispensed, it is RM5.6 billion (S$2.15 billion) in spending a month," Mr Najib said at a 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) presentation ceremony at his constituency here on Sunday.