The Prime Minister said the measures such as the abolition of fuel subsidies, reducing dependence on oil revenue, rationalisation of subsidies, and the introduction of the goods and sales tax (GST) had provided substantial returns to the people and the country.
“This government has taken many bold actions, and many tough decisions, to achieve Malaysia’s goal of becoming a high-income advanced economy, ” he said at the launch of the National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016 here tonight.
He cited the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, on average, at 5.1 per cent since 2010 as one of the testimonies of the effectiveness of the government actions.
This figure, he said, was twice that of the average growth of the world’s economy.
Najib said despite the challenging global economy last year, the government’s commitment towards the National Transformation Programme had ensured the country’s economic fundamentals continued to remain strong.
“As a result, our economy grew beyond expectation of the government, as well as the World Bank at 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2017,” he said, adding that Malaysia was also be among the first countries to benefit from global economic recovery.
In fact, he said, last week, Forbes magazine ranked Malaysia as the top Asian country for foreign investment, while BAV Consulting and theWharton School of the United States rated Malaysia as one of the top recipients for foreign direct investment in 2017.
The Prime Minister said from the fiscal standpoint, the government managed to reduce the fiscal deficit by more than half from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to 3.1 per cent in 2016.
In addition, he said the government succeeded in reducing the country’s dependence on oil revenue from 41 per cent in 2009 to 14.7 per cent in 2016 in order to diversify its economic sources of revenue.
The shortfall in oil revenue was compensated through the GST revenue of RM42 billion in 2016, he added.
The Prime Minister said if the government was not diligent and steadfast in implementing the initiative, the country would not be able to cover the operating and development expenses.
“Thank God, with the undying commitment, or strong and unwavering political will, for the sake of the country’s economic stability and prosperity of the nation and the people, the government is steadfast in its stand in implementing the GST,” he said.
Najib said the pragmatic steps taken by the government in implementing the GST was timely, appropriate and proven correct.