KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 – Barisan Nasional (BN) senators in the Dewan Negara did not reject the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 from being passed today, to honour the mandate given by the people to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Senator Khairul Azwan Harun said there was no issue of sabotaging the bills as the matter would not benefit anybody and would only disrupt the government in collecting the country’s revenue.
“We do not want to delay the matter as we know the government needs the money for the national agenda involving the people. Based on this awareness, we could see senators from BN allowing the bills to be passed as we respect the people,” he said at a media conference at Parliament lobby today.
The Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 were passed by Senate without amendments after the third reading. Earlier, there were concerns that BN senators may block the bills from being passed at Dewan Negara.
Meanwhile, Khairul Azwan said opposing the bills would be in vain as they would still be gazetted despite being objected by the Senate. According to Article 68 of the Federal Constitution, if a bill is not passed by the Senate, it could be brought to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and would receive the royal assent without the need to be debated again.
“We, the opposition knows the fact that without the support of the Senate, the government could still proceed with the matter,” he said. Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said BN would not use its majority power in the Senate to thwart the efforts of the PH government to implement the Sales and Service Tax (SST) starting Sept 1.
He said even though some parties wanted to use their majority power to burden the government, BN did not intend to do so. He said otherwise there would be an impasse and the government would experience a delay in collecting tax. — Bernama