By Syauqi Jamil
KUALA LUMPUR: In a shocking revelation, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today exposed that the ‘missing’ Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund amount was actually bigger than the one announced last week.
“The actual amount of shortfall in the fund for unpaid GST refunds is RM19.248 billion, not RM17.911 billion which I reported to the House last week,” he said.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat earlier, the Bagan MP said the initial amount was for the period of 2015 up to May 31, 2018.
Lim said the previous amount that he revealed was not the actual total after owing a mistake by a ministry officer who misplaced a decimal point.
He said, the Amanah Account (trust fund) where cash flow for the GST refunds was supposed to be deposited into only had a balance of RM148.6 million, rather than RM1.48 billion.
“It is better that we are transparent and honest with the House than to hide such things, as done by the previous government,” he said.
Last week, Lim revealed a whopping amount of roughly RM18 billion were missing from the GST Repayment Fund, adding that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government had ‘robbed the rakyat of their money’.
He said based on the Customs Department record, the sum of overdue GST refund currently sits at RM19.4 billion but stated that the current balance in the Repayment Fund is only around RM1.48 billion.
This had triggered and enraged opposition lawmakers, mainly from BN which to this day continues to press Lim for further proof on the claims.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin had also lodged a police report based on Lim’s claim, adding that an internal investigation which will be conducted by the Finance Ministry will not suffice as ‘robbery’ isn’t something that the previous administration wants to be associated with.