The Federal Government is allocating RM70 million to bear the cost of transporting goods to interior areas throughout Sabah this year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the allocation is being provided to ensure the cost of goods in Sabah’s interiors was at a low rate so that the people living in these areas could afford them.
“Actually, these goods don’t cost that much. It’s middlemen who take advantage to make huge profits.”
“Normally, they (middlemen) will hike up prices and blame the government saying the prices were raised because of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).”
“This is not true because the GST we implemented two years ago by right should not have any impact at all (on prices of goods),” he said when launching the ‘Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat’ carnival and Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) Biz Fair (business fair) in Kota Kinabalu, today.
Najib also explained that the country’s GST rate of six per cent was the lowest compared to the rates imposed by other countries.
In fact, he said, the government remained concerned and had exempted the GST on 578 essential goods.
“You can’t blame the government. When there is revenue (from GST), we will return it to the people through the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).”
“We have allocated RM6.8 billion for BR1M this year, and (from that amount) RM561 million is for Sabah,” said Najib, adding that the distribution of BR1M helped to boost the country’s economy.
He said the government was always concerned about the people and listened to their pulse so that solutions could be implemented for their benefit.’