Businessman’s question to Guan Eng on tax refunds draws laughter

Lim Guan Eng (centre) at the SST briefing in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: A businessman today asked Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng if he could charge back the government for about RM3.5 million in refunds of the goods and services tax (GST) owed to his company to pay for his income tax.

At a sales and service tax (SST) briefing attended by Lim and Customs director general T Subromaniam, the businessman said the amount was accumulated since 2016 and should have been paid to his company under the previous GST system.

“Of course we don’t know where that money is because it is still under investigation.

“I need the money to pay for my income tax… can I contra the RM3.5 million to the government? If not, can I sue the government?” he asked, drawing laughter from the floor.

In his response, Lim said the problem faced by the businessman was due to a system inherited from the previous government.

“The government now is trying to resolve this but unfortunately you are not able to do this (contra) because they are two different systems.

“No need to sue the government lah but it is definitely within your rights,” Lim added.

Lim said this was not the first someone had asked him such a question.