Cannot tax foreign political donations: Najib

01 Apr 2019 / 20:02 H.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has insisted that the foreign political donations from foreign countries are not subjected to local tax laws.

“First of all, political contributions including from the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia are not subject to or taxed under the law.“

“Secondly, as it is general knowledge, income derived from foreign countries is not taxable as under the tax laws,“ he said in a Facebook posting today.

He was responding to a report by business daily The Edge, who first broke the story that the Inland Revenue Board had slapped Najib with an extra tax bill of around RM1.5 billion for 2011-2017.

The report quoted sources saying based on its investigations, Najib had not declared taxable income of close to RM 4 billion during the period, and this amount included the RM2.6 billion donation that Najib alleged to come from Saudi Arabia.

However, the report alleged that the RM2.6 billion from Malaysian and US investigators say originated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib also claimed that the Pakatan Harapan government has vast powers, to the extent that it can charge anyone it likes, and leak what it wishes to the media it controls, to fulfil its own propaganda mission.

“If the Pakatan Harapan government wants, it can claim up to RM5 billion or RM10 billion (in tax) from any individuals, as it is well within its powers.

“But that is what it can claim. It does not mean what is claimed is true, or whether the government deserves to receive it. At the end of the day, the law must be followed,“ he said.

“The Harapan government, if it wants, can also leak to the media, tax-related matters of any individuals, which should, by right, be confidential, if it benefits them (Harapan) politically,“ he added.

Citing an example, Najib said media reports initially leaked that he was guilty giving instructions to amend the final audit report of 1MDB but when pressed further, he allegedly only requested for the draft of the audit report to be altered.

“The Pakatan Harapan government can do as they please, but I believe that justice will come true and the people will be able to self-assess whether this government is fair or has abused their power for their political interests,“ he said.

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