GST: ‘Muftis must know facts before pronouncing edicts’
Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman should also reprimand the government on its various leakage, says PAS’ Dzulkefly Ahmad.
PAS central working committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad said this in response to Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman who yesterday urged Muslims to support the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
“Do not simply blurt out edicts or opinion like this. We do not expect muftis to know all the technicalities, but at least let the opinion be an informed one,” Dzulkefly told FMT.
“It is his (Abdul Rahman’s) right to give an opinion, but do not let people view it as a selective and unfair one,” he said.
The former Kuala Selangor MP said after financial aspects are analysed, only then would the mufti institution be deemed worthy of respect.
Further commenting on the matter, Dzulkefly said Abdul Rahman should have also mentioned the aspect of governance in the country; of the various leakages and lack of transparency (and debt).
“He should also remind the government that the need of the GST in the first place was due to the budget deficit in the last 15 years.
“As such, he should question what is the guarantee that the GST will overcome the deficit,” he said.
Dzulkefly stressed that as a mufti, Abdul Rahman must represent the interests of all Muslims, and not just that of the government.
“Although appointed by the government of the day, muftis must be non-partisan and above all, uphold justice.
“They should be able to scrutinise the GST, not simply as a tax system per se, but also whether it will fulfill all the maqasid syariah.
“Although the GST may be looked upon as a replacement of the sales and service tax, he (Abdul Rahman) should first ascertain how it would impact the lower and middle income group,” said Dzulkefly.
The maqasid syariah are the foundational goals which seek to preserve religion, life, lineage, intellect and property.
He then elaborated that Islam does not permit for taxes to be collected from the poor.
“We are supposed to collect tax from the rich and distribute it to the poor. But the GST is across the board. Even the poor will have to pay (tax),” he said.
Abdul Rahman yesterday said that Muslims should not oppose the implementation of GST and should instead assist the government in implementing it.
He reasoned that Islam did not forbid tax implementation as long as it is done according to Islamic law and is not oppressive.
The Pahang mufti also said that tax collection was not new as it was implemented since the time of Caliph Umar who collected tax to be distributed to the poor.