Najib: Police, PAC and MACC investigations will reveal that I’m telling the truth

The Customs Department admission that collection from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had been deposited into a Consolidated Fund is proof that the money was not stolen, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

Touching on Customs director-general Datuk Seri T Subromaniam statement that the department had requested RM82.9 billion for repayment of GST for the period until May this year but only RM63.5 billion had been paid via the trust fund, Najib said Barisan Nasional (BN) had lost power on May 9.

Najib said refund claims after the 14th GE for the months of April and May could be very high as the GST was zero rated on June 1 and businesses could reclaim GST input taxes for raw materials immediately, regardless of whether they had sold the items.

Najib said the government had actually never expected the GST refund claims to increase drastically after they zero rated it.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Customs Department admission that collection from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had been deposited into a Consolidated Fund is proof that the money was not stolen, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

“I have read the Customs Department’s explanation on the missing RM18 billion.

“They have confirmed that the GST collection was not stolen, robbed or channelled to any illegitimate account. Instead the money was deposited in the government’s Consolidated Fund to be later used for any refund claims,” he said.

Touching on Customs director-general Datuk Seri T Subromaniam statement that the department had requested RM82.9 billion for repayment of GST for the period until May this year but only RM63.5 billion had been paid via the trust fund, Najib said Barisan Nasional (BN) had lost power on May 9.

He said this meant requests for funds to be transferred to the Trust Fund for GST refunds for the months of April and May was under the Pakatan Harapan administration.

“The demand for refunds are claimed through the GST-3 forms, which are filled by business owners.

“This is then determined through an audit process or approval from the Customs Department.

“However, it is just a rough figure and not the approved amount. We need to know how much of the amount still owing has been audited and approved before the money can be transferred for refund purposes,” he said.

Najib said refund claims after the 14th GE for the months of April and May could be very high as the GST was zero rated on June 1 and businesses could reclaim GST input taxes for raw materials immediately, regardless of whether they had sold the items.

“We need to know how much out of the RM19.4 billion involved new claims following the zero rated GST,” he said.

Najib said the BN government had processed 76 per cent of GST claims and this showed there was no “robbery” committed as the coalition had been accused of.

On Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement that he should explain how PH had spent RM18 billion within days after he (Lim) and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were sworn in as Finance Minister and Prime Minister, respectively, Najib said:

“I have never accused them of using the entire RM18 bilion in three weeks, but three months.

“Lim’s answer does not make any sense at all. The actual issue is that Lim must answer why it took him three months to realise there were arrears of RM18 billion and the government could not pay it because they had been robbed…RM18 billion is not a small figure,” he said.

Najib said the government had actually never expected the GST refund claims to increase drastically after they zero rated it.

He said the GST exemption for three months had led to the government losing its revenue and this caused it to use money from the Consolidated Fund to cover its monthly expenses.

“I don’t expect them to acquire any funds to cover the GST refunds any time soon as the Sales and Services (SST) tax will be lower than GST collection.

“When this happens it is going to have a negative effect on investors and lower the country’s credit ratings,” he said.

Najib said he was confident police, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Public Account Committee (PAC) investigations would show that he was speaking the truth and also show whether any robbery had been committed.

It was reported that the controversy surrounding the missing money started when Lim claimed in Parliament on Wednesday that BN had “robbed” RM18 billion in GST refund claims.

He said the government had failed to pay GST claims amounting to RM19.4 billion up to May 31.

Najib subsequently issued a statement dismissing Lim’s allegation.

Instead, he said it was possible that the newly-minted government had spent money which was in the consolidated fund to cover expenses when they zero rated the GST from June 1.

Lim today refuted Najib’s explanation and said the RM18 billion shortfall in the GST refunds did not happen within a month but occurred over a three-year period since its implementation on April 1, 2015.

Source: NST Online

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