PETALING JAYA - Pakatan Harapan has to "swallow the reality" after it admitted that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was not the main reason for higher prices, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said Pakatan had all along attributed the increase in prices to GST and used this to attack Barisan Nasional when campaigning.
The former prime minister said as such, he was shocked to read a statement by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail that GST was not the main reason for the increase in prices of goods.
"At that time, Pakatan did not accept our answer but instead ridiculed it. Now, Pakatan has to swallow the reality behind its own accusations," Najib said in a Facebook posting yesterday.
Saifuddin was reported to have told Bernama that the small drop in the prices of goods was why the people did not feel or realise the effects of GST, which was zero-rated on June 1.
Najib said he was worried that when the Sales and Services Tax (SST) is reintroduced in September, prices of goods would climb higher compared to before GST was zero-rated.
"This is the danger when the tax system is changed at their own whims. Barisan had already warned about this before GE14.
"This will of course impact the people's cost of living and goes against Pakatan's pledge in its manifesto to reduce the cost of living," said Najib.
Saifuddin also said that based on the findings of a survey done over 35 days from June 1, 417 goods which saw a price drop included baby items as well as wet and dry stuff.
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"In fact, the price drop is so small that it hardly reached 30 per cent to 40 per cent," he was quoted as saying.
The minister also said that although food and beverage prices were lowered at fast food outlets, this was not the case at mamak restaurants where prices remained unchanged, while in some eateries, prices actually went up.