THE prime minister is “spreading fake news” that Malaysia would be in deficit without revenue from the goods and services tax (GST), said DAP today, challenging the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to take action to prove its impartiality.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the ministry should prove  it did not practise double standards as Najib Razak had “come out with a blatant lie and fake news”.

The Bagan MP said Malaysia was already recording deficits even before the federal government implemented the GST on April 1, 2015.

He said the claim that GST would address the federal government’s budget deficit was a lie.

“Malaysia continues to be in deficit even after GST was implemented, and is expected to remain so.

“Clearly the RM45 billion in GST collected this year is not enough to cover the deficit because of extensive corruption within Barisan Nasional,” he said in a statement today.

Najib was yesterday reported saying that Malaysia would be a “deficit country” if it did not have revenue from the GST.

“If the opposition wants to abolish the GST to be replaced with the SST (sales and services tax), that’s a lie.

“If we cannot get a revenue of RM45 billion, the country will become a deficit country,” he was quoted as saying in the news.

BN leaders have defended the GST following Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to abolish the consumption tax within 100 days in office to tackle the rising cost of living.

Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah had said  abolishing the GST would cause Malaysia to lose RM45 billion.

“It’s a big figure, and we did not introduce it just like that, but only after  studying it for years.

“A total of 160 countries in the world have implemented GST. It’s implemented in various percentages, but in Malaysia, we take 6% – a more reasonable rate and not burdensome to the economy and people,” he was quoted as saying.

Lim said only a “clean government could cure the deficit”, citing his and the Selangor governments as examples.

Both states have been governed by the opposition since 2008. Lim has been Penang chief minister for 10 years.

“Both Penang and Selangor have proven that we can have a surplus budget even without the GST – so long as we have a clean government without corruption.”