It takes a strong political will for structural reforms to be made for the country’s economy to remain strong in facing challenges and reservations.
Prime Minister Najib Razak said despite concerns raised by certain groups on the move to introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) and subsidy rationalisation, it had proven to be a worthy method with the encouraging growth of Malaysian economy.
“It is a bold move. It is not wrong. It is the right thing to do.
“We had a plan for the nation and we have the political courage to make the structural changes needed to the economy,” he said at the Finance Ministry’s programme to honour its retirees in Putrajaya on Wednesday, February 22.
The premier pointed out that the changes were necessary to put the economy on the right track for the well-being of the people
Proving further on his point of GST introduction, Najib said two other countries were emulating Malaysian steps, namely India and Arab Saudi.
India reportedly plans to introduce a 23% GST.
The prime minister said the government went ahead and implemented the GST and collected RM41 billion last year amidst harsh criticisms.
“Some even told me this was an unpopular move which may result in us losing elections.
“In fact, Barisan Nasional won with landslide victories in Sarawak, Kuala Kangsar, and Sungai Besar last year,” he said.
Najib added that to ensure subsidies benefited the right groups, 1Malaysia people’s aid (BR1M) was introduced, which helped the government to achieve its mission in assisting the needy.
Najib, who is also the finance minister, said the ministry’s role had grown over the years with more responsibilities such as setting up urban transformation centres (UTC) and building affordable houses.
“My hope is for the treasury staff to continue to their dedication in serving the people,” he said.