Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers his speech during Customs Department appreciation night in Putrajaya. Pix by FARIZ ISWADI ISMAIL.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight announced that the Customs Department will be corporatised soon.

He said this was the government's way of rewarding those in the department for their impressive achievement in implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

"It (the corporatisation) should have been done earlier, but it had to be put on hold due to the implementation of the GST.

"Being a corporatised entity, those in the department can enjoy a better service scheme," he said at the Customs Department appreciation night.

Also present were Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong.

It was reported that the corporatisation exercise was scheduled to have taken place in 2015.

Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah was reported as saying the move was meant to raise the productivity of Customs personnel in carrying out their duties.

Najib meanwhile also said the government's decision to implement the GST was a bold and courageous move; the right thing to do and done at the right time.

He said Bank Negara Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim had told him in today's meeting that the country's firm fundamentals and strong revenue collected under various tax systems, including the GST, had managed to spare Malaysia from recording a higher deficit and weaker ringgit in the current uncertain global economic climate.

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