KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today claimed Pakatan Harapan (PH) had to use up the consolidated trust funds following its move to have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) zero-rated since June 1.
The former prime minister said the money that was meant for GST refunds was used for government expenses instead.
“What has possibly happened is that when the PH government ‘zerorised’ GST on June 1, 2018, businesses were able to claim their tax refunds immediately, whether they made sales or otherwise.
“Because the PH administration had lost its income for three months when GST was zero-rated and SST was not yet implemented, the government could have spent the money from the trust funds which was meant for tax refunds.
“As a result, the PH government faced difficulties in paying the refunds and immediately needed someone to blame for it,” said Najib in a statement on his Facebook page.
On Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that RM18 billion of the GST refund monies had gone missing from the system, and blamed the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Najib said Lim’s alleged baseless claims were an untrue, politically-driven statement, aimed at manipulating Parliament.
He said the Dewan Rakyat Speaker should no longer protect Lim in Parliament as the House is not a place for baseless claims and accusations that are politically motivated.
The police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are currently investigating the matter.
Najib said he is ready to give his full cooperation, as the former finance minister, so that the truth may be revealed.
“The claims that BN had robbed RM18 billion GST monies could possibly be placed together with the ‘RM1 trillion national debt’ that was used by PH to not fulfil their manifesto pledges, cancel or reduce aide to the people, or return GST refunds to businesses.
“As usual, the blame is shifted to the former BN government when it is the fault of the PH government themselves,” he said.
The Finance Ministry has said it will launch an internal investigation into the missing RM18 billion GST refunds from the trust account.
Lim said the investigation is seeking to establish the circle of decision makers from the previous administration who were responsible for the missing sum.