Malaysiakini News

KJ to lodge report against Najib, MOF over RM18b GST 'robbery' claim

Published:  |  Modified:

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin has vowed to lodge reports to the police and MACC against former finance minister Najib Abdul Razak and Finance Ministry officials.

This is over a claim by present Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in Parliament that the previous BN administration had "stolen" RM18 billion in GST refunds.

Taking to Twitter, Khairy said he wanted Lim's statement to be thoroughly "investigated and substantiated" beyond an internal inquiry by the Finance Ministry.

"I do not think an internal inquiry by the Finance Ministry is sufficient when a serious allegation of misappropriation or 'rompakan' (robbery) has occurred.

"Since Lim is not keen on anything beyond an internal inquiry, for now, I would like to nudge this along in the public’s interest.

"Later today and tomorrow I will be lodging reports with the police and the MACC against former top officials of the Finance Ministry at the material time the allegation took place.

"This is so that an open investigation can take place to ascertain the veracity of Lim's expose," Khairy wrote in a series of tweets.

Khairy said that his reports to the authorities would also be against top Finance Ministry officials and the "then minister" - who can only be former prime minister Najib, who held that post as well.

Khairy later lodged a police report at 2pm today at the Sentul district police station, before holding a press conference at Parliament.

'Payouts delayed for two years'

During the winding-up debate on the Sales Tax Bill 2018 on Tuesday, Lim told the Dewan Rakyat that the former government had used money intended for GST refunds, resulting in payouts to be delayed for two years.

"What was supposed to be paid in two weeks was not paid for two years, because the money, which was paid as an advance, was not put into a trust fund but into a consolidated fund as revenue.

“Because it was taken as revenue, it was used by the former government. I want to say here, it was not robbing GST, but robbing from GST refunds," Lim had said.

Khairy promptly requested Lim to provide evidence to substantiate his claim.

Yesterday, Lim revealed that a Customs Department audit had found a shortfall in GST refunds amounting close to RM18 billion. He had arrived at this figure from how only RM1.486 billion was left from the total of RM19.4 billion in GST refunds collected since it was first implemented.

He further said that this amount had been “misappropriated” by the previous government to cover up a deficit, finance development projects and to “do as they wish”.

However, Lim declined to link the misuse to Najib, but instead said that former treasurer-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah would have been “in the know”.

The Finance Ministry is probing the matter to identify the inner circle of decision makers who transferred money out from the trust fund.

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