KUCHING: Pakatan Rakyat’s proposal to remove excise duties imposed on vehicles in order to slash its prices was concocted just to ‘demonise’ the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Asajaya assemblyman Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said yesterday that Pakatan were experts in making promises, but none of it had ever materialised.
“Pakatan has raised issues such as abolishing PTPTN loan and that varsity education should be free. They also promised a 20 per cent oil royalty to Sabah and Sarawak if they were to take over the federal government.
“They also promised a Dayak chief minister for the state and a deputy prime minister post from both East Malaysian states. They even promise that the country will become a welfare state.
“They promise pay increase, they promise, promise, promise! Of course, all laymen would love these promises. But my question is what happened to those promises made before the 12th general election?
“To date, their promises have not been fulfilled,” said Abdul Karim, who is also assistant minister of youth development, when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.
He was asked to comment on PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli’s recent statement that Pakatan would abolish excise duty on cars as part of its election promises. Recently, Pakatan had also promised to abolish PTPTN loans as well.
Abdul Karim said ‘dangling carrots’ and making sky high promises were easy stuff, but the question was whether Pakatan could fulfil them?
“Of course everyone wants to reduce taxes, price of food, fuel price, car prices, electricity and water bills etc. Pakatan knew that these are matters close to the people’s heart, hence the continuing cycle of promises.
“However, only BN promises are true, sincere and always ‘ditepati’ (met).”
Abdul Karim urged the people to be rational and not to gamble on something they were unsure of. He said they should only go for a government with a proven track record.
An online news portal on Sunday reported that despite the general public welcoming the move to abolish excise duty on cars, some politicians have expressed their concerns on the matter.
Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin, for instance, dismissed the populist proposal by saying that the idea would see national car maker Proton being at the losing end.
Others have commented that the plan to slash excise duties would send local car makers to the grave.
However, Rafizi dismissed the predicament by arguing that under Pakatan’s proposal, Proton would still be among the cheapest cars in the country.
He also quashed talks that the government would lose income as a result of removing the excise duties of cars.
He explained that a mechanism to make up for the loss of income would be formulated and announced soon by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He added this proposal would be included in Pakatan’s election manifesto and be used as a major campaign issue during the 13th general election.