PAC to Call Najib to Testify on ‘Missing’ RM19B of GST Refunds

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will call former prime minister Najib Razak and former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah to testify on the RM19.4 billion allegedly missing from goods and services tax (GST) refunds.

In a statement, PAC chairman Ronald Kiandee said Irwan, who had been asked to testify on the matter on Sept 13, would be called in on Oct 16. Najib, meanwhile, will face the committee on Oct 17.

Hari Anggara

The 13-member, bipartisan committee has so far questioned two former second finance ministers, Johari Abdul Ghani and Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah.

The inquiry is being held following Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s claim that 121,429 companies and individuals had not received RM19.4 billion in GST refunds since 2015, and many of them were asking why the payments had been delayed.

Lim said Customs director-general T Subromaniam had stated that the department, during the monthly trust fund committee meetings, had requested that RM82.9 billion be transferred to the GST refunds trust account, but only RM63.5 billion was given.

Kiandee said PAC would also call Lim to testify on Oct 22, to explain his claims on the missing funds.

Husni was finance minister II from March 2008 to June 2016. He was replaced by Johari, who served from June 2016 to April this year.

According to the statement, Treasury deputy chief secretary-general (policy) Siti Zauyah Md Desa and several officials from the finance ministry were also present at the questioning yesterday.

“Both (Husni and Johari) were asked to explain matters relating to policies and the scope of responsibility linked to GST while they were holding the position,” said Kiandee.

On matters relating to 1MDB, Kiandee said the committee had agreed to start a probe on companies owned by the finance ministry. – FMT