Najib denies making 'bankrupt without GST' claim

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has denied ever claiming that the country would go bankrupt should the goods and services tax (GST) not be implemented.

Instead, he claimed that he had been "misquoted" by several newspapers, which is part and parcel of the"hazards" of being a politician.

Najib ( right ) said that what he had actually meant was that Malaysia was at risk of becoming like Greece, which is trying to revive its economy following a debt crisis, if Malaysia continues to spend in excess without taking into consideration the amount of revenue it collects.

"I said if we spend without stop, and there not enough tax is collected, the country risks becoming like Greece. I never said that without GST, the country will go bankrupt.

"This is what people say are the hazards of being a politician," he said during an event with senior retiree civil servants at Putrajaya today.

On Nov 25, Najib was quoted in an article in The Star titled 'Najib: It's either GST or facing bankruptcy', where the premier was quoted to have said Malaysia needs to implement the GST to avoid the country from being bankrupt like Greece that continues to borrow money.

The premier was reported to have said it at a seminar titled 'Strengthening the National Economy'.

On the same day however, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan was quoted in Parliament as saying that the country's financial position is still stable.

Ahmad Maslan said that the country's debt is at 53.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, as of September totaling RM529.6 billion, which the deputy finance minister says is still manageable .

Following the contradiction, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, was hammered by the opposition for saying something which is contradictory with what Ahmad had said.

Najib further urged the retirees to support the GST, which is to be implemented from April 1, 2015.

He said it would increase the country's revenue and put Malaysia on the right track to becoming a developed nation.

"If we manage to reduce the fiscal deficit, Malaysia can be an advanced (developed) country. That is why, I need your support," said Najib in his speech.

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