The Ipoh Barat MP said BN had already lost public trust as a result of the price hikes, which the pact had said would not happen when canvassing for votes in the recent 13th federal polls.
In a statement here, Kulasegaran agreed with criticisms from his Umno political foes — MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — who had condemned the sudden sharp increases of taxes and rates, which came in rapid succession shortly after the May polls.
“BN will not only lose votes due to the implementation of painful measures, it will also pay the price for misleading the people as many voters now know that the measures were only postponed due to BN’s desperation to win the 13th general election,” the leader said in the statement.
“Now, the BN government not only has to deal with the nation’s chronic budget deficit, it has to deal with ‘trust deficit’ of the people due to its misleading of the people at the 13th general election.”
Kulasegaran also insisted that Putrajaya was being insensitive and arrogant for allegedly ignoring public criticism and for refusing to conduct any review of rate hikes.
“Let me tell Najib that he can ignore public criticisms and he can forget and abandon his ‘People First’ slogan, but the voters will know which party to vote for at the next general election,” he warned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
On Monday, Nur Jazlan was quoted in Malay daily Sinar Harian as saying that the increase in the prices of goods and services will result in BN losing more votes in GE14.
In addition, voters living in Kuala Lumpur and other major cities who have already rejected BN in the May polls will be more incensed by the price hike.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also urged Putrajaya this week to balance the national budget by trimming its own expenditure before looking to add to the financial burdens of Malaysians.
The nation’s longest-serving prime minister pointed out that there was ample opportunity to reduce wastage and leakages as evidenced by the annual Auditor-General’s report, before resorting to new and higher taxes.
Since September, Putrajaya has embarked on aggressive cost-cutting measures after pressure grew for it to rein in a chronic budget deficit that can be traced back to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and which has left Malaysia’s national debt at just below a critical legal ceiling.
Among others, it has reduced fuel subsidies, removed price controls for sugar, allowed an increase in electricity tariffs and confirmed the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) all within the space of four months.