There has been a large amount of reportage by so-called analysts who have expressed concern over the Pakatan Harapan election promise to dismantle the Goods and Services Tax regime. To my mind this so-called concern is borne of laziness on the part of the analysts. Worse still, the so-called concern reflects a marked lack of understanding of Malaysia's National Budget in the recent 5 years.
Anyone with sufficient focus and industry would not have missed the ballooning Operating Expense portion of Malaysia's National Budget. With some effort, one can find enough items that can be pared down. I would hazard a guess that much of the National Budget was leaked due to corrupt practices.
Other parts of the National Budget involved massive (mis-)allocations to ministries and agencies for use in different types of disbursements and grants that lacked accountability.
Plug these items earnestly and the massive fiscal deficit spending will be pared down significantly. Malaysia may not see a budget surplus immediately. But, my hunch is that future fiscal deficits will be due to growth imperatives in sectors such as education, tourism and agriculture where targeted fiscal spending will boost knowledge, skills and relevant infrastructure that will multiply Malaysia's economic growth instead of useless monetary handouts that feed Malaysians for a short spell of weeks without any lasting benefits.
This is where I completely agree that the new economic team that is being put in place by the Pakatan Harapan federal government will not be so stupid as to dismantle the GST without a plan.