Rafizi, can you explain what’s going on in Singapore?

TTF: On the 22nd of May 2014, Rafizi Ramli played down plans by the Malaysian government to impose GST by saying that the move would burden the rakyat. Then, three years later, he ‘observed’ that tax collection in the country had grown an average of 11% per year, a rate he claimed was faster than the 5% average GDP growth.

To prove this was a bad thing, the Pandan MP compared the country’s collection average to that of Australia, which, according to him, was 5.3% for the same period. However, Dato’ Eric See-To came out the very next day to point out that GDP growth in Australia for that period was 2.7%, meaning, tax collection had also outpaced economic growth in the island nation (READ HERE).

Yes, Rafizi is in the business of telling ‘truths’, though most – if not all – of his truths are those of omissions. In this case, he told you a fact that seemed to support his argument but concealed another that would have destroyed it altogether.


And that is how he plays the game of perception. The Pandan MP is able to turn any situation to his advantage either by omitting truths or by lying through his teeth. The case of the late Lee Kuan Yew best illustrates this point. 

In a 2013 book release titled ‘One Man’s View of the World’, the former Singaporean premier correctly labelled the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat as an “opportunistic ad-hoc group not held together by even vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government.”

Now, that seemed to hurt Rafizi’s ego badly.

So badly, he decided to ‘tweak’ Lee’s statement by adding words of intrigue the former premier never spoke. On the 10th of August 2013, the Pandan MP accused Lee of downplaying Pakatan Rakyat’s potency to prevent Singapore’s opposition from drawing inspiration.

Yes, not only was Rafizi implying that Pakatan Rakyat was ‘top notch’, he went so far as to claim that Lee was helping Dr. Mahathir Mohamed tighten UMNO’s grip on government (READ HERE). If that is the case, can he now come out to explain how Mahathir ended up becoming his boss?

Can he also explain why Singapore – which he insists is better run than Malaysia – intends to raise taxes (see news item below)? When Barisan National wanted to impose GST, he accused Najib of robbing the rakyat to offset government overspending, which, according to him, was fuelled by corruption.

Can he confirm if Lee Hsien Loong is doing the same?

SINGAPORE: Singapore will be raising its taxes as government spending on investments and social services grows, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (Nov 19).

“(Finance Minister) Heng Swee Keat is right when he said that raising taxes is not a matter of whether, but when,” said Lee at the People’s Action Party (PAP) annual convention.

Lee was referring to Heng’s remarks during his Budget speech earlier this year, where the minister outlined how spending on healthcare and infrastructure will rise rapidly and spoke of the need for new taxes or higher tax rates.

He told some 2,000 party members that “well before that time comes, we have to plan ahead, explain to Singaporeans what the money is needed for, and how the money we earn and we spend will benefit everyone, young and old”.

Just as older generations saved and invested, this generation must “plant trees in order that our sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters, will be able to enjoy the shade”, he added.

Economists said a rise in Goods and Services Tax (GST) could be in the works. It was last raised in 2007 by two percentage points to 7 per cent.

Singapore had introduced their GST in 1994 – 21 years before Malaysia introduced its own in 2015.

Two years ago in 2015, Singapore had also raised the petrol tax – RON95 rose by 15 cents (46 sen) per litre to 56 cents (RM1.72) per litre. Unlike Singapore, Malaysia does not tax petrol.

The rise in petrol duties was meant to encourage less car usage and reduce carbon emissions. Petrol duty rates have remained unchanged since 2003. But there were some good news for drivers: a one-year road tax rebate of 20 per cent for cars, 60 per cent for motorcycles and 100 per cent for the small number of commercial vehicles using petrol.

Source: The Star Online

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