KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has not only stood by his allegations that the previous government had falsified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit refund, but claims that the missing amount was even larger than he had declared in Parliament last week.
“The actual amount of shortfall in the fund for unpaid GST input tax is RM19.248bil, and not RM17.911bil which I had reported to the House last week,” Lim said in Parliament on Monday (Aug 13).
The amount was for the period of 2015 and up to May 31 this year.
He said the previous amount that he revealed was not the actual total, owing a mistake by a ministry officer who misplaced a decimal point.
“I wish to apologise to the House and Speaker.
“It is better that we are transparent and honest with the House than to hide such things, as done by the previous government,” he added.
Lim maintained that the problem of unpaid tax was due to the weak cashflow of the previous administration, brought about by poor fiscal discipline and an increase in large debts.
“What the previous Government had done was the falsifying of accounts and abuse of the fund to make payments for other purposes, or to cover the deficit to show a surplus.
“This is still the truth,” he alleged.
Last week, heated exchanges took place between Lim and Opposition lawmakers when he alleged that the GST input tax had gone missing and used for other purposes.
Lim said that his ministry would carry out an internal probe to determine what happened to the money meant to repay businesses under the GST.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin has since lodged a report with the police over Lim's claims.Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, denying Lim’s allegations, lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).