KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong said today the Public Accounts Committee’s report on allegedly missing consumption tax refunds was proof the Najib government misused and stole public funds.
Khoo said the PAC report clearly showed that money meant for Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds was unlawfully included into the Consolidated Account and spent on operational and development expenses.
He further alleged that the PAC’s findings effectively exposed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be a “kleptocrat”.
“This is a clear admittance that the moneys for GST refund were stolen because it is in effect taking and withholding money from taxpayers by force.
“Through this, Najib and the previous government was able to enjoy interest-free capital at the expense of taxpayers who had to bear the consequences of not receiving their refunds,” he said in a statement.
Khoo also asked if the accounting shenanigans were motivated by the 14th general election, noting that the discrepancies took place ahead of last May.
He said the Najib government had announced “numerous handouts” leading up to the poll, insisting these must have had some effect on the ability to repay GST refunds.
This morning, PAC chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said the missing RM19 billion that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng accused the BN government of “robbing” from public coffers was the result of overestimating GST tax receipts by 65 per cent.
However, she said the PAC found that the GST revenue was unlawfully included in the Consolidated Account rather than the GST refund pool.
The PAC also concluded that the money was spent on operating and development expenses.