KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan’s promise to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) materialised with the passing of a bill to repeal the consumption-based tax.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in his wrapping up address in Parliament on Wednesday (Aug 8), had promised a thorough investigation on some RM18bil of the input tax credit under the GST which he claimed was “robbed” and “misappropriated” by the Barisan Nasional administration.
“It is a very heavy responsibility. We want to know how it has happened for three years in a row.
“This is not just immoral and unethical. I guarantee that we will investigate on how such a large sum of money has gone missing,” he said.
Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) agreed that such misappropriation of funds should be investigated, if true. He, however, added it was unfair to call it a “robbery”.
“We had no knowledge about it (when we were in Cabinet),” said the former Youth and Sports Minister.
To this, Lim hoped that former Cabinet Ministers would co-operate if they were called to investigate on the matter.
“We on this side, we are used to being lied to, but it looks like the other side too had been lied to,” quipped Lim.
He explained that the Government had refunded RM63.3bil input tax out of the RM83bil which was needed to be repaid.
Lim said the RM19.4bil shortfall is now the burden of the current Government.
However, he assured businesses that the Government will start paying the outstanding input tax soon.
When the Goods and Services Tax (Repeal) Bill 2018 was passed, Lim was heard saying “GST is finally dead” amidst cheers from the floor.
The GST was implemented by the previous government on April 1, 2015. It is being replaced by the Sales and Service Tax.