Sales Tax Bill passed despite BN attempt to block it

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sales Tax Bill was passed after a failed bloc voting attempt by Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers.

Only 51 lawmakers agreed to bring the Bill to a Parliamentary Select Committee and 111 opposed while four MPs sat out of the voting on Tuesday (Aug 7).

The motion to bring it to a Parliamentary Select Committee was proposed by Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (BN-Beluran).

Earlier, an emotionally charged Lim Guan Eng said in his winding up address that the refunds to the input tax for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) were delayed because the money had been "robbed" and spent first by the previous BN Government.

Lim, who is the Finance Minister, revealed that some GST input tax refunds took up to two years as there was no money in the Government trust fund (akaun amanah).

"That money was spent by the Government before (it could be refunded).

"This is why when you (Khairy Jamaluddin) said GST must be restructured (merombak), when in actual truth, it was Barisan Nasional who merompak (robbed) the GST refund  - so how can you pay back," said Lim.

The Finance Minister also appealed to the Senators of the Dewan Negara, mostly made up of BN representatives, to support the Bills and respect the decision made by the rakyat who voted for Pakatan Harapan during the general election.

Lim said that Pakatan cannot guarantee that prices of goods will go down once SST kicks in, but assured they will do their best to control the prices.

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