KUALA LUMPUR: The government will take a “tax when only necessary” approach when it comes to policies and reforms, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister said that while the government needs taxes to ensure the development of the nation, it must not become a burden to the rakyat or companies.
“For our country, the policy is to tax when it is absolutely necessary and it should never burden taxpayers. The changes in the coming budget will be based on this approach,” said Anwar.
“Tax only when necessary,” he added in his keynote address at the opening of the National Tax Conference 2023 here on Tuesday (Aug 1).
He said that the approach to be taken would be to encourage nation-building productivity while ensuring the welfare of the marginalised.
“As such, the tax institution must be very efficient, very clear and very effective,” he added.
Anwar then said that good governance is crucial to rid the country of endemic corruption, which has an impact on revenue generated through taxation.
“We can collect as much as possible but if the governance issues are not resolved, there are leaks.
You can spend RM22bil to help the rakyat but there are leaks all around with RM5bil to RM6bil being lost,” said Anwar.
“We can approve contacts for flood mitigation and Jana Wibawa and whatever but funds get siphoned off,” he added.
In November last year, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it would look into reports on a RM2bil flood mitigation project allegedly being approved after the dissolution of Parliament under the previous administration.
In February, when announcing Budget 2023, Anwar said that six flood mitigation projects were to be re-tendered, saving the government some RM2bil from the estimated RM15bil allocated for the projects previously.
Anwar had also announced that Jana Wibawa projects worth RM7bil awarded through direct negotiations would be scrapped.
Meanwhile, Anwar said that the Economy Madani framework will serve as the foundation for several other policies that will be announced in the coming few months.
“In the next few weeks, we will announce the Industry Masterplan, and following that, the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan,” said Anwar.
He added that the second Madani budget will be unveiled in October.
Apart from the progress report on the recently launched National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), he said other ministers will also have to make daily announcements on their follow-up policies and progress of the Madani concept under their respective portfolios.
– The Star