SUNGAI BESAR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) should not be blamed for the rise of prices of goods as most Malaysians spend frivolously, said National Civics Bureau chief Datuk Ibrahim Saad (pic).
He said the prices of goods during the fasting month was a clear example that the hike was not caused by the broad-base consumption tax.
Explaining this at a forum with civil servants on Wednesday, Ibrahim said people buy more than they need, which leads to high prices due to a high demand low supply market.
â€œNormally, we buy 3kg of rice but during Ramadan we buy 10kg. Instead of one tray of eggs, we buy three.
â€œWhy do we need to buy so much during the fasting month when we are not even eating? I know this happens because this is exactly what my wife does,â€ he said.
Similarly, he said the national debt ballooned because most Malaysians do not live within their means.
â€œMany people are angry with the Government, claiming it does not know how to manage the economy. But we are the ones who spend the money we do not have.
â€œClerks want to live like theyâ€™re department directors. Most Malaysians buy three cars even though they have no money because the banks give them loans,â€ he said.
Ibrahim said the excessive spending contributed to national debt, which is made up of household and company debt.
He said Malaysians should be grateful for living in relative wealth instead of criticising their homeland.
â€œIf you cannot help the country, then donâ€™t say anything,â€ he said.
Other speakers at the event were 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief Arul Kanda Kandasamy, and Special Branch (Operations/Counter Terrorism division) assistant director-general Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
Sungai Besar Barisan Nasional candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi was also at the event.
The forum was moderated by Utusan chief assistant editor Datuk Zaini Hassan.