Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he has no regrets over the unpopular decisions he took to put the country's economy back on track following the global slowdown.
Admitting that the Government lost "brownie points" in implementing unpopular moves, he said these were necessary with the fall in the prices of oil and other commodities.
Najib said these factors were beyond the Government's control, hence the need to manage the challenges - including recalibrating the Budget.
"Sometimes in politics and even in life you need to take the tough and difficult decisions which you know would be good for you and the country in the medium and long term.
"I always compare this to when you are not well; you have to take antibiotics, some are not so pleasant but you have to take them and have to stay the course.
"You must complete your antibiotics course and when you complete it, you will recover and become fit once again," Najib said in his address at a high tea with Malaysian diaspora and students in southern California.
The Prime Minister said the goods and services tax was necessary, and that without it, it would have impacted the economy and welfare of Malaysians.
"It was the right decision, I don't regret it. I just want the people to understand and appreciate that it is very much like taking medicine when it is necessary," Najib added
He said the recalibration was to ensure the country would attain robust growth of between 4 per cent and 4.5 per cent this year.
"We are not in a recession but we are experiencing slightly lower growth than what we expected earlier on," he added.
He questioned the act of naysayers in Malaysia who, with the help of their allies abroad, tried to talk down the country.
"They are attempting for personal and political end, and disrupt stability and question our democratic system that we prize, which investors need to see and place confidence in Malaysia.
"This is not putting the country first," he added.
He took note of that Malaysian students in the United States were facing difficulties including higher tuition fees due to a weaker ringgit.
"We hope that the ringgit will strengthen in the coming months and hope the price of oil will stabilise.
"Let me assure you this. As Prime Minister, I will continue to work for the greater good of the country and all our citizens.
"The Government is mindful of the hardship and sufferings of our people.
"We are constantly taking steps to ease their burden," Najib assured.
The Prime Minister is here on a week-long working visit, including attending the US-ASEAN Summit with President Barack Obama, starting today.