Corporate agenda

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Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is growing as people in affected countries express their disquiet.

Within Malaysia, I don’t think there has been enough media coverage and political debate on this huge trade pact, which is going to have far-reaching implications. Obama is anxious to get Malaysia and the countries in this region to sign on the dotted line, and that could be why he was being so ‘pal-ly’ with Najib, going on a charm offensive over golf.

So Nurul Izzah’s piece below serves as a timely reminder of what is at stake:

At a recent talk on the GST, I asked those present what they thought “GST” stood for. Most of those present responded, “Goods and Services Tax”.

Then, I showed them a cartoon by Zunar which described GST as “Golfing, Shopping, Travelling”! They got the joke and laughed knowingly.

One of the factors contributing to the persistent fiscal deficit in Malaysia has been the deliberate and gradual reduction of income tax rates over the years.

From a fairly progressive tax system, Malaysia has moved towards a regressive tax system. The government has trimmed the tax rates for the rich and super-rich over the years.

Singapore is now bucking the trend by raising income tax rates for high-earners by 2 per cent.

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