Opposition pushes for action against LGE

The Opposition has brought a motion to refer Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to the Rights and Privileges Committee for misleading the House on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund fiasco.

(The Star) – The motion was brought by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) who said that Lim needed to be referred to the committee for accusing the Barisan Nasional government of “robbing” the GST refunds.

“The report by the Public Accounts Com­mit­­tee (PAC) tabled today showed that no money was robbed as alleged by YB Bagan (Lim).

“This means Bagan has confused the Dewan and the Opposition would like to use Standing Order 36 (12) to refer him to the Rights and Privileges Committee,” he said yesterday.

To this, deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Nga Kor Ming told Ismail Sabri to formally write in to the Speaker’s office for a decision on the matter.

Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) interjected and said that referring an MP to the Rights and Privileges Committee could be done in two ways – one with a formal request written to the Speaker or secondly, decided by the Speaker immediately.

Khairy reasoned that the matter was current and needed to be debated in this Parliament meeting, which ends on Thursday.

“Although the matter (allegations by Lim) was raised last August, the PAC report today has confirmed that the remarks by Bagan were not true and this has given a bad name to the Barisan Nasional government.

“So I hope that although we have been asked to write in to the Speaker, this matter will be debated in this meeting,” said Khairy.

“So we will send in the letter but it needs to be debated otherwise this issue will be dated.”

Awang Hashim (PAS-Pendang) also supported the suggestion to debate the matter in this meeting.

Nga said all the points raised by the lawmakers were noted, but an immediate decision could not be made.

“However, I guarantee that whatever action taken will be based on the law and the Standing Orders,” said Nga.

The PAC in its report said no money was missing from the GST refunds, but the refunds were used for government expenditure and development instead.

Last August, Lim had told Parliament that RM19.4bil was “robbed”.

Lim had told the Dewan Rakyat that the former Barisan government had not been able to refund companies the credit tax from GST because 93% of the money had not been placed in the correct account.