PORT DICKSON - Malaysia's implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has enabled the authorities to raise RM41bil (S$13bil) last year, is not as "burdensome" as that in other countries, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said countries like India would have a drastic GST regime when it imposes up to 23 per cent tax on certain goods from April.
"Do not be influenced by the Opposition's allegation that the GST is burdensome.
"We need GST as the money will be used to finance our healthcare system, build schools and help those in need," he told reporters at the Kelab Bell Belia Tamil's 60th anniversary celebration here yesterday.
"Everyone is asking the Government for money. If we did not have the GST, where are we going to get the money to give them?" he asked.
Later, at the official opening of the RM3.3mil Wisma Ceylonese in Seremban, Najib said Malaysians should continue to celebrate their diversity.
"We must remember that we are all Malaysians and we must love this country of ours without looking at our ethnic, religious or cultural backgrounds," he said.
Najib urged the people to learn from the 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands.
"In Sri Lanka, it was a fight between two communities," he said.
"But we have many more Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia and we have been able to live relatively peacefully because we can set aside our differences and celebrate our diversity."