Malaysiakini News

Cops record Guan Eng's statement over GST refunds

Published:  |  Modified:

Police have recorded Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng's statement in relation to his claims that GST refunds had gone "missing".

In a statement today, Lim confirmed that police took his statement under Section 409 of the Penal Code.

Section 409 states: "Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, in his capacity of a public servant or an agent, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years and not more than twenty years and with whipping, and shall also be liable to fine."

Lim previously told Parliament that there was an RM19.25 billion shortfall in the GST refund trust fund under the watch of then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The sum, he said, had been deposited into the government's consolidated account as revenue and spent even though it was meant to be refunded within two weeks.

"The government faces a shortfall of RM19.25 billion, because there is only RM148.5 million in the GST refund trust account, when there should be RM19.4 billion that went missing since 2015.

"The federal government is working hard to return the RM19.4 billion beginning next year because the money does not belong to the government, but to the people.

"It is now time for Najib to answer the three pertinent questions about his involvement as the finance minister over the missing RM19.25 billion that had prevented RM19.4 billion from being returned to these companies and individuals,” his said previously.

The three questions were:

  • Whether Najib authorised GST refunds not being made within two weeks as required by the law.
  • Whether Najib approved the decision by former treasurer-general Mohd Irwan Serigar not to transfer the full amount of RM82.9 billion refunds as requested by the Customs Department, but only RM63.5 billion since 2015 – a shortfall of RM19.25 billion – to the GST refunds trust account.
  • Whether Najib approved the unpaid GST refunds being recognised as government revenue to be used as the government pleased?

Lim said these were important questions that would shed light on the legal role Najib played as then finance minister.

"Only a finance minister has the authority to approve or to deny the transfer of RM19.4 billion to the GST refund trust account," he said.

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