PAC to launch probe, says new chief

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KUALA LUMPUR― The newly-appointed Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Ronald Kiandee yesterday said that he would initiate a probe into claims that RM18 billion from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds had gone “missing”.

“I will use my powers to bring this matter to the PAC,” said the Beluran MP, who is the first opposition lawmaker to head the committee.

Kiandee said this during a press conference in Parliament yesterday alongside several Barisan Nasional lawmakers who called for thorough investigations on the claims made by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Wednesday, in which he said the funds were “robbed” under the previous administration.

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin had lodged a police report urging an investigation into the matter.

The former Umno Youth chief said due to the gravity of the accusation, an internal inquiry which Lim said would be conducted, was not enough.

“I do not think an internal inquiry by (the Finance Ministry) is sufficient when a serious allegation of misappropriation or rompakan (robbery) has been made.

“Since (Lim) is not keen on anything beyond an internal inquiry for now, I would like to nudge this along in the interest of the public,” Khairy wrote on Twitter.

He insisted that the minister did not explain the allegation satisfactorily after making it in Parliament on Wednesday, adding that his former Cabinet colleague, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, concurred that an investigation was crucial to identify the culprits and the severity of the alleged crime.