Syed Saddiq: If I really wanted to help business elites, I would never have pushed for progressive taxes (VIDEO)

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, Nov 3 — Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has stressed that his party will not bow down to business tycoons just because it has a friendly relationship with them.

In an interview with Malay Mail recently, the Muar MP said that he would not have pushed for more taxes on the “richest of the rich” — such as a windfall tax on glove manufacturers who were reaping large profits due to the Covid-19 pandemic — if he or his party was in cahoots with them.

“On this matter, we do not compromise. If I really wanted to help the business elites, I would have implemented direct negotiation policies when I was a minister. But I didn’t.

“If I really wanted to help the business elites, I would never have pushed for a windfall tax in Parliament,” he said when met at his office in SS1 here.

“I would not have pushed for more progressive taxation systems, instead of just a basic consumer tax which hurts the middle class,” he added, providing examples of taxes he has endorsed such as capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

Syed Saddiq was asked to comment on views that Muda is too friendly with business tycoons and that the party may sway towards policies that favour the elites.

In 2018, before the 14th general election, AirAsia founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes went on video to praise former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak — who was embroiled in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal — drawing immense backlash from the public.

However, later that same year, Syed Saddiq, proclaimed support for Fernandes, saying that the latter only did so because he was pressured by the previous administration, and even called Fernandes a “hero”.

In February this year, media reports confirmed that Datin Dian Lee Cheng Ling — daughter of property tycoon Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew — had joined Muda, which also was subject to public scrutiny, with critics saying she was given the limelight just because of her background.

However, Syed Saddiq said that Lee is not providing “millions” to Muda, and that the party gets most of its capital by “crowdfunding”, such as its Sapot Muda campaign for the 2022 Johor state elections where it raised money online.

He said that Lee is involved with charitable works and the advocation of policies revolving around gender issues and children’s welfare as it was her passion.

“If anything, it would be much easier for her to stay out of politics, because she’s not joining a government party, where there are contracts to be given out.

“She’s joining an Opposition (party), and not just an Opposition, but an Opposition party which is new, fresh, no control of any state government.

“So really to say that she’s doing it because of money, to me is bizarre,” he added.