KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he believed that the planned Goods and Services Tax (GST) "is the right tax at the right time for Malaysia".
The Prime Minister said the GST, to be introduced on April 1, would help drive the country forward.
"As the Prime Minister, it is my responsibility to make the right decisions for all Malaysians.
"By reducing our deficit, investing in our future and increasing the competitiveness of our businesses, our economy will grow stronger," he said in his speech before opening the International Seminar on GST here yesterday.
He said Malaysia must not take its growth and development for granted if it wanted to achieve developed nation status by 2020.
No decision yet if GST will apply to petroleum products
"Our success did not come out of thin air. It came because we made the right decisions for Malaysia. I have always maintained that in politics, you have to make the right decisions, not just the easy and popular ones," he said.
The implementation of GST in Malaysia at a rate of 6 per cent was announced by Najib during Budget 2014.
Najib, in his speech yesterday, also reminded businesses to register for GST ahead of the Dec 31 deadline.
"I would like to appeal to all Malaysians, especially businesses, please register as soon as possible and please avoid the classic Malaysian 'last minute registration' syndrome.
"The sooner you register, the sooner you will understand what GST is all about and the sooner you prepare for the inevitable, the better it will be for your business," he said.
Later, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said 35,998 businesses had already registered for GST to date.