LOS ANGELES: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has vowed that as prime minister, he will continue to work for a greater Malaysia.
His administration, he said, is taking steps to ease the burden of the rakyat towards a meaningful way in strengthening their future.
Malaysia is working towards a more resilient economy for the benefit of its people, he told a gathering of some 300 Malaysian diaspora, including students at the official residence of the Malaysian Consul-General, Raja Saifful Ridzuwan Raja Kamaruddin here Saturday (Sunday in Malaysia).
“We want people from Perlis to Sabah to feel Malaysia is a wonderful place to live in,” said Najib who is on a week-long working visit to the US.
Najib is set to attend the inaugural US-Asean Summit, which will be hosted by US President Barack Obama.
Najib told Malaysians living in this part of the United States that sometimes, the government had to take tough action for the benefit of the country and its future.
Citing the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Najib said the tough action taken by his administration had largely offset the impact of the current economic challenges as a result of the slowing down of the world’s economic growth and the decline in oil and commodity prices.
“The GST was necessary as the country was experiencing a shortfall of RM40 billion in revenue this year, following the global economic challenges.
“Imagine without (revenue from) GST, what would be the impact (of the global economic challenges) to the country’s economy and welfare of its people?” said the prime minister.
Further substantiating his point over the issue, he said this (GST) was like taking medicine, a bit bitter now but it is for the greater good.
Drawing attention to the recent 2016 Budget recalibration, Najib said the move was to attain sustainable economic growth during the current global economic challenges.
He cited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as having given a thumbs-up in its review of Malaysia’s economic performances in these challenging times.
“IMF said Malaysia’s economy performed well despite those challenges. It also praised Malaysia's prudent spending,” he said.
A Bloomberg report, he said, had ranked Malaysia as the sixth most promising market.
He cautioned Malaysians to be wary of those wish to put the country down and disrupt its stability.
“These (irresponsible actions) are not putting the country first,” he said.
Najib also called on those working in the US to bring home their innovation and creativity skills for Malaysia’s benefit.
Also present were Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. --Bernama