Najib says he’s looking forward to PAC report on ‘missing’ GST refunds

Former prime minister Najib Razak says the GST refunds for May 2018, which was the last month of the GST, should have been paid out in June, but it wasn’t.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak says he is “looking forward” to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on “missing” goods and services tax (GST) refunds of RM19.4 billion.

Speaking to FMT, he said this was because he wanted to see if the PAC’s report matches his observations on the issue as well as provide answers to some “questions” he had.

Last year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told the Dewan Rakyat that RM19.4 billion in GST refunds had been misappropriated by the Najib administration, though the former prime minister has denied this.

Najib had said the money was channelled to the government’s consolidated fund and then another fund for the repayment of the GST refunds.

Earlier today, Malaysiakini reported PAC deputy chairman Wong Kah Woh as saying the PAC’s report would be tabled in the first week of the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting and that the PAC had wrapped up its probe into the matter.

“I am very much looking forward to the PAC’s report because I have some questions myself. For instance, Bank Negara figures show that GST refunds were not paid out in June 2018.

“The refunds for May 2018, which was the last month of the GST, should have been paid in June, but it wasn’t.”

He said Treasury figures for the month of June 2018 show that the government’s total expenditure for the month dropped to more than half compared to all other months of the year.

This, he said, showed it did not pay out the refunds for May 2018.

Lim, he added, had said that there were RM19.2 billion in outstanding tax refunds at the end of May 2018.

“This figure also includes tax refunds incurred in May 2018.

“If you look at the Auditor-General’s Report, a substantial amount for refunds in April was not paid in May. What happened to these refunds?”

Another question Najib said he had was on the finance ministry’s announcement in May that RM9.5 billion in GST refunds were paid out by the Customs Department to 76,002 GST registrants between Jan 1 and April 30, 2019.

“But Treasury documents do not reflect this,” claimed Najib, adding that these documents were publicly available online.

He said he hoped his questions on the issue could be answered by the PAC.