This is what Tun Daim Zainuddin as the Minister of Finance said in the Bajet 1989 speech on 21 October 1988
“The reduction in direct taxes I am proposing will lead to substantial losses in revenue, and with the increases in expenditure, there is no other alternative but to strengthen our sources of revenue. In this context the sales tax in its existing form is limited in scope and has a number of inherent weaknesses which has resulted in the Government losing revenue.
“To overcome such weaknesses, there is merit in considering a Value Added Tax (VAT) – which is another name for GST, which is a broad-based and equitable tax and which, in fact, has been adopted by some 39 countries.
(Since 1988, a hundred over other additional countries have implemented GST)
Anwar Ibrahim as Finance Minister also said the same thing in the Bajet 1993 speech on 30 October 1992