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IPOH, July 16 — Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders sought to cover up the missing RM19.4 billion from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) fund by using different words, Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin asserted today.
The Perak DAP lawmaker added that BN leaders were now trying to mislead the public by redirecting attention to the words used by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, such as “robbed”, “misappropriated”, “diverted” and “spent” instead of answering why taxpayers did not get their GST refunds.
“Despite using various words and disputing the term ‘robbed’ used by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, BN leaders are unable to dispute the fact that RM19.4 billion of GST refunds were not able to be processed and refunded to the people due to insufficient funds in the GST Refund Consolidated Fund,” Chong said in a statement.
He said he was appalled by BN leaders’ insistence that no money went missing in response to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the matter.
Chong then accused federal Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob of trying to further divert attention by trying to refer Lim to Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee for disciplinary action in using the word “robbed”.
“The fact remains clear that RM19.4 billion, which legitimately belongs to Malaysian businesses GST input tax claims, were not refunded on time.
“This has caused Malaysian businesses to suffer from cash flow problems and increase the cost of doing business, some businesses were even forced to close down due to cash flow problems,” he said.
Chong said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was forced to dip into Petronas’ dividends to refund taxpayers their GST money owed by the previous BN administration.
He added that the PH government has paid back RM9.5 billion to 76,002 GST registered business entities as at April 30.