PAS MP demands transparency in RM180m Customs' online tax system

Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Putrajaya must disclose if it had paid RM180 million to set up an online tax reporting system for the Customs Department, a PAS lawmaker demanded today.

Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar said details of the contract to MyEG Services Bhd have been sketchy, adding that he had received information that the firm would be paid RM180 million for the project, scheduled to take off in April next year when the government enforces the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"Please don't hide the details. This is an issue of national concern," he told a news conference at the PAS headquarters here.

Mahfuz noted the director-general of the Customs Department, Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad, had previously said the government will only pay the firm when the system has proven to be a success and raised its revenue beyond the 14 per cent mark recorded in the previous year.

"I can tell you today that the revenue will most certainly exceed the 14 per cent mark because we will be paying GST for all and sundry," Mahfuz said.

Mahfuz questioned the need outsource the contract of the system to a third-party, claiming the Customs Department could have bought existing softwares and train its officers to operate the revenue collection system instead.

MyEG, a forerunner in developing online government transactional services, announced on Bursa Malaysia in February that it had undertaken Putrajaya's offer to build the Customs Online Service Tax Reporting system for when the government rolls out GST.

Khazali said the project will not incur cost to the government as it is being fully borne by the firm, state news agency Bernama reported last week.

The tenure for the project is six years, beginning April 1, 2015.

MyEG will be providing the department and the relevant stakeholders with the device and software services that would link up to the point-of-sale terminals and cash registers.

The GST Bill was passed through the lower house on April 7, despite objection from opposition lawmakers, ensuring that the consumption tax starts at a flat rate of 6per cent beginning April 1 next year.

The tax is expected to help the Najib administration prop up its revenue and tackle the government’s chronic budget deficit.

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