PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan government should form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for the alleged RM35bil shortage of income tax and goods and service tax (GST) refunds, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The former Prime Minister said it was necessary to determine whether the previous Barisan Nasional government, the Customs office and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) had committed a clandestine breach of trust (CBT) or that it was just one of Pakatan's political tricks .
"I was informed that Lim Guan Eng was asked to make a statement to the police based on a report submitted by Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.
"He (Lim) did not even submit the report himself on the basis of his allegations that Barisan RM18bil had robbed GST funds during a parliamentary session because it grants him immunity.
"This is a smart move on his part because submitting a false message in the eyes of the law is wrong," said Najib today in a Facebook post (August 24).
About the three recent questions about GST recently posted by Lim, Najib said his answers were: "No, no and no".
"Suddenly Lim again made an allegation that the IRB had committed CBT under the Barisan government because they did not pay any refunds for income tax and real estate profit tax of RM16.046bil, from the past to 31st May.
"The government collects some RM130bil income tax every year If it is (over) 10 years ago, the amount is RM1.3 trillion If true RM16bil was not refunded, then it is only 1% of the total tax that has been collected in 10 years, "he said.
There were many reasons why the IRB could not pay the refunds, including employee factor or a foreign company that was no longer operational in the country, or even because the company was closed, he added.
"In fact, the use of deductible tax credits is not unusual and is often used in our country and others.
"I thought it odd that Pakistani MPs had never raised this issue before they formed a government, and if there were 1,635,786 cases involving companies, individuals, associations and foundations, this should have been a major problem," said Najib.
He added that it was even more strange that Lim, just like the RM18bil GST case, realized the issue of the RM16.046bil in overpaid income tax only after three months.
"I am also surprised that Barisan was the government, but that it was never a problem, but when Pakatan took power, such issues crop up and when he was asked to submit a police report he refused. (Lim).
"If Lim wants to maintain that the Barisan government did not have the money to pay or that all these funds were stolen, it is certainly not true.
"Based on the latest financial statement of 2017, the Malaysian government had RM18bil in cash at the end of 2017, including RM8.914 million in hand and RM7.749 million in fixed deposits for the three-month period and less ", he said.
The Pekan MP said the Pakistani government lost approximately RM31bil in revenue because of the three-month tax-free vacation.
"It is highly likely that Lim realized that moving the tax-free vacation and changing GST to SST were wrong decisions after three months.
"As a result of such economic mismanagement by the new government, they now designate the previous Barisan government as a means of concealing their own mistakes," he said.
There was no need to cherish or debate politically motivated accusations with those who may not understand how the government's policy or cash flow was managed, Najib said.
"However, I believe the rakyat must know and understand what is really happening, based on facts," he said.