Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has called on Prime Minister Najib Razak to give the public a thorough explanation of the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (Imams) fiasco, lest he be called the “prime minister of taxes.”
According to Khalid, this is because the people are tired of being burdened repeatedly with the government’s taxes.
“We want the PM and the tourism minister to confirm that Imams will be cancelled altogether.
“Not postponed, not amended, but cancelled outright,” he said at a press conference today.
Yesterday, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz explained the newly implemented compulsory visa system Imams was scrapped just a day after its unveiling.
He clarified that this had nothing to do with the outcry over the contractor’s non-Muslim top executive, but because the charges were different from what he intended.
Khalid warned the government not to find an excuse to levy the charges.
“We don’t want people to say the government is obsessed with taxes. That Najib’s government is ‘gila cukai‘ (crazy about taxes).
“They are always finding ways just to tax the people. Even performing umrah, they need to tax.
“We don’t want this. Free the people from such burdens,” he said.
Nazri the ‘tax minister’?
Khalid, who is also the Amanah information chief, also took Nazri to task for trying to tax the Islamic obligation of umrah.
“As the tourism minister, he has increased tourism tax – even spending a night at a hotel he wants to tax – and now even for umrah, he wants to increase the tax.
“He looks to be earning the name, ‘tax minister’,” he said, adding Nazri’s explanation over Imam’s speedy cancellation was unconvincing.
“His original explanation that his own officers did not understand the charges to be levied when Imams was set up seems to have been deliberately made up.
“I advise him not to make up excuses, as people will get to know about it.
“Don’t just emulate your prime minister’s style with his ‘Arab excuses’,” he said.