KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs are embarrassing themselves by attacking Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, DAP Youth vice-chief Shakeer Amir said today.
He said BN’s persistence in dragging Lim to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee for misleading the house on the matter of the goods and services tax (GST) funds was nothing but diversionary tactics and a desperate move to shift the public focus from the real issues at hand.
“The PAC (Public Accounts Committee) concluded that the funds were moved from one account to another while the finance minister pointed out that the funds were missing.
“The two are not mutually exclusive. Funds from the GST collection are meant to be in a certain account, and the Finance Minister was right to call them missing as they were not in those accounts.
“Moreover, the AGC (Attorney General’s Chambers) has pointed out that there was legal wrongdoing in the funds being moved into other accounts, other than the one gazetted for it, under Law.
“This focus on semantics and misguided attempt to take a non-issue and turn it into one is nothing but diversionary tactics and smacks of desperate politics by Barisan Nasional,” Shakeer said in a statement.
Yesterday, Lim said the now-repealed GST Act had clearly mandated that collections be entered into a trust fund to allow input tax refund applications to be processed within 14 days.
However, this was not done in accordance with the GST Act and instead, the GST collections were deposited directly into Consolidated Revenue Account.
The attorney general has stated that this practice is against the fundamental trust law principles and trust accounting requirements, and is not in line with Section 54(2) and Section 54(5) of the GST Act 2014.