Calls to refer me to parliamentary committee, a diversion: Lim

17 Jul 2019 / 00:28 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said he has no problem with the motion of the opposition to refer him to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee on the issue of Goods and Services Tax (GST) repayment claims.

He said the opposition would obviously play up the issue compared to the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to ensure violations of regulations on GST repayment did not recur.

“Of course they want to raise up this issue, that we accept and will battle. If a provision is provided for one purpose, it cannot be diverted to another purpose, it is an offence ... therefore action could be taken.

“I want to focus on the report which states its recommendations and suggestions,” he told reporters after attending a meeting with Village Development Officers (PKP) here today.

The findings of PAC’s investigation into GST repayment claims amounting to RM19.4 billion collected by the Customs Department found there was no missing GST money.

The report found the GST revenue was not channeled to the GST Refund Consolidated Fund and was instead used for finance management and development expenditure.

PAC start its proceeding on Sept 12 following Lim’s statement in Dewan Rakyat in August 2018 that the funds for GST repayment amounting to RM19.4 billion was robbed by the previous government.

Following the PAC report, several opposition MPs at Dewan Rakyat yesterday called for Lim to be referred to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee after accusing him of making a statement to confuse the house.

Lim said the opposition also wanted to divert the people’s attention from the court cases of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and also the opposition of several UMNO leaders against appointing Najib as Barisan Nasional Advisory Board chairman. — Bernama

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