PETALING JAYA, Jan 28 — Putrajaya’s introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) last year was never meant to burden Malaysians but to save the country’s economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Najib, who is also the finance minister, said Malaysia’s economy is able to remain stable now due to the GST, adding that its collection to date amounts to RM51 billion.
“GST is not a burden to the people, GST is the saviour of the people.
“The economic situation is pretty stable. This is due to the implementation of GST,” he said in his speech for the 34th World Customs Day here.
Najib is scheduled to announce a revision to Budget 2016 in Putrajaya later today to tackle an estimated RM11 billion revenue shortfall.
He praised the Customs Department for its efficiency in implementing the consumption tax as the RM51 billion figure exceeded expectations.
The Customs Department announced last month a collection of nearly RM30 billion since the GST rolled out nine months earlier.
Malaysia has previously relied heavily on its oil and gas exports to support its economy but a current protracted global oil price rout has hurt this key revenue channel, making the GST now a crucial income source, state think tank, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (Mier) said yesterday.