Malaysiakini News

GST refunds: Guan Eng says police to record statement on 'missing' billions

Published:  |  Modified:

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (above) has stated that police will be recording his statement next week over his claim that RM19.25 billion in GST refunds are missing.

In a statement, Lim said former premier Najib Abdul Razak has "no more excuses" but to explain the missing amount, which the former said had affected 121,429 companies and individuals.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, however, did not specify when and where he would be required to give his statement.

An aide to Lim later confirmed this was in relation to the police report lodged by Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin over the matter.

Meanwhile, in his statement, the Bagan MP said Najib must answer three questions:

  1. Did Najib authorise the refunds not be made within the two-week stipulation? 
  2. Did he approve the decision by former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar not to transfer the full amount of RM82.9 billion refunds to the GST Refunds Trust Account as requested by the Customs Department, but only RM63.5 billion since 2015, resulting in a shortfall of RM19.25 billion?
  3. Did he approve for the amount not refunded since 2015 be recognised as government revenue to be used by the previous government?

"Najib has so far refused to clear the air about his involvement as finance minister in this matter and said I should lodge a police report. My full cooperation with the police proves that the new government wants the truth to prevail.

"A huge number of 121,429 companies and individuals affected by this scandal are now wondering why RM19.4 billion in the GST Refunds Trust Account was not returned to them within two weeks as required by law, whether from the years as far back as 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018," the statement read. 

He reiterated that there had been delays in disbursing GST input tax credits due to a shortfall in the trust account, and said this had been confirmed by Customs director-general T Subromaniam’s statement that his department had requested RM82.9 billion to be transferred to the fund but only RM63.5 billion had been effected.

The committee had been chaired by the then treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar since 2015.

“Whilst the decisions were made by Mohd Irwan, Najib still has a critical role to play as finance minister because only the finance minister has the authority to approve the RM19.25 billion not to be transferred to the GST refunds trust account or not to return the GST refunds within two weeks as required by law,” Lim said.

Previously, in response to Lim’s allegations, Najib had challenged Lim to lodge a police report over the allegedly missing funds.

Irwan had denied that the money had gone missing, and said that the funds had instead been placed in the federal consolidated fund.

He lodged a report with the MACC over Lim’s allegations, which he said were unfounded.

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