22 November 2018
PARLIAMENT | An opposition Public Accounts Committee member claims that RM19.4 billion meant for goods and services tax (GST) refunds are not missing as alleged by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“The RM19.4 billion is in the (consolidated) accounts,” Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) told the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said this while rebutting Lim’s assertions that the funds are missing.
The finance minister had told the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 7 and 8 that RM19.4 billion in GST refunds were misappropriated by the previous BN administration.
“If the funds are in the (consolidated) account, why do we have to look for money to pay the refunds?” Lim asked Ahmad back.
He added that this showed that the opposition was either confused, or in denial over the matter.
Earlier, Ahmad had warned Lim not to discuss the matter further as the PAC report on the GST refunds will be tabled in Parliament next week.
“We will see together who is right and who is wrong,” Ahmad said.
Lim retorted that he eagerly awaits the report.
Earlier, the finance minister had sparred with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak over the refunds.
Najib had claimed the RM19.4 billion was caused by a surge in refund applications by businesses rushing to get refunds when the Pakatan Harapan government moved to abolish the GST.
Lim, however, shot back that the RM19.4 billion was the amount owed as of end of May this year.
Najib said he received no such report of missing funds, and that he would have taken action if this was true.
“No funds have been stolen,” the Pekan MP said.
17 October 2018
FORMER prime minister Najib Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah have been summoned to testify at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next week, said a source.
The two will be asked to explain to PAC how RM18 billion worth of goods and services tax (GST) refund money went missing.
“They have been scheduled to appear before PAC next Tuesday and Wednesday,” said the source after the committee met at Parliament yesterday.
Since reopening investigations in September, PAC has already questioned former second finance ministers Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and Johari Abdul Ghani.
The 13-member committee is headed by former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee (BN-Beluran) and assisted by Wong Kah Woh (PH-Ipoh Timur).
The other members are Wong Chen (PH-Subang), Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir (PH-Johor Baru), Willie Mongin (PH-Puncak Borneo), Steven Choong (PH-Tebrau), Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat), Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera), Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang), Muslimin Yahaya (PH-Sg Besar), Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin), Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baru) and Robert Lawson Chuat (GPS-Betong).
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
13 August 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng admitted to making a mistake in the Dewan Rakyat last week while announcing the figures for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
He clarified that the actual loss in the input tax credit fund for the GST is higher than first reported, adding that the error happened when one of his officers mistakenly left out the decimal figure in the fund’s available amount, which resulted in two completely different figures.
“It was announced last week that the available funds is approximately RM1.48 billion. However the real figure is around RM148.6 million,” Lim said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
This meant that instead of a loss of RM17.91 billion in the fund, the number is actually RM19.24 billion since 2015 until May 31 this year.
12 August 2018
11 August 2018
What took you so long to notice missing GST refunds? Najib asks Guan Eng
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today questioned Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on why it took him three months before realising that the GST refunds trust account was missing RM18 billion.
“The question is why did it take three months before the Finance Minister realised that RM18 billion was not paid (to the GST Refund trust account) and now they say the government can’t pay the refunds because they have been ‘robbed’.
“RM18 billion is not a small amount. What I see is that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government did not expect the spike in GST refund claims the moment it was zero rated,” Najib said in a Facebook post.
“The three months GST tax exemption where the government had no revenue means the money inside the Consolidated Trust Fund (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Disatukan) that should have been channelled (into the refund account) could have been used for government expenditure,” Najib said.
10 August 2018
PUTRAJAYA: Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the alleged disappearance of RM18 billion in Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds.
He said the report was lodged so that the graft buster could investigate the matter, which he had described as unfounded.
“It is baseless. I want the details because he (Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng) said it’s missing, it’s not missing but credited into a consolidated fund.
“I lodged report with the MACC as I want the truth (to prevail),” he told reporters before leaving the MACC headquarters.
Irwan, who was driving a black Chevrolet car, arrived at the MACC headquarters about 9.40am and said he would even lodge a police report on the same matter today.
9 August 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has urged former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah to explain the reasons for not depositing the GST refunds into a trust account meant for it.
He also asked Irwan to be involved in the internal investigations that was being carried out by the finance ministry on the matter.
He said this while wrapping up on the Customs (amendment) Bill 2018 at the Dewan Rakyat.
Lim was reponding to a statement by Irwan who had dismissed allegations that the money meant for GST refunds had gone missing.
Irwan in a statement published by the media today said all monies collected were put under the government’s consolidated funds and the amount due for refund was put into the trust account on a monthly basis based on the requirements of the Customs Department.
7 August 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today accused the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government of stealing tax refunds under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that were meant to be returned to businesses.
A visibly angry Lim tried to hold back his temper before lashing out, telling Parliament that it was this reason that made the system problematic under BN.
“If you all don’t know what is the real reason as to why GST refunds were not given, I suspect Jeli maybe knows,” Lim sarcastically said, referring to former International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“This is a very serious matter, which was supposed to be paid in two weeks. But for two years it was not paid, because the money paid as advance was not included into the trust account, but put into a consolidated fund, as revenue, and because it was assumed as revenue, was used up by the previous government!
“That is the reason. When you said, you want to reform GST, it is not a reform, but a robbery of GST!
“This is a very serious robbery, whereby money that was supposed to be in the trust account, was not in the trust account,” Lim screamed in the Dewan Rakyat, visibly stunning Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.
“How will the current government then pay (GST refunds), if money is not in the trust account?!” Lim screamed again.
It is unclear what Lim meant by a trust account, as he did not deliberate further, but such accounts are traditionally used to hold funds, to be channeled for specific purposes.
He then proceeded to ask Khairy, if the latter realised the problem when he was a minister.
“You should know. You should know the accounts. If you read through the accounts, you should know. As a minister, you have the responsibility to look through the accounts! You have failed!” Lim lashed out at Khairy.
Khairy had initially asked Lim to fully explain about the input tax claims, which were not returned by the government.
He told Lim that he was informed that there were many cases with refund problems for amounts between RM7 billion and RM8 billion every year, because there were problems within the Customs Department.
The department had refused to release the refunds, as it wanted to first ascertain the claims.
Khairy said this was verified to him by the former finance minister II, who informed him however, that it was a normal issue.
He also told Lim that if the problem was only with the GST refund process, Lim could easily rectify that.
After Lim’s fiery response, Khairy then asked him to prove his accusation.
“All right. I will prove it tomorrow, when I table the Bill to abolish GST!” Lim said, taking Khairy’s challenge.