Najib confirms getting tax bill but mum on amount

Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak confirmed today he has received a tax bill but was tight-lipped on whether it’s for RM1.5 billion as reported.

“We will see a review and specific remedy under the (due) process because the basis of calculation and definition of income is very much questionable.

“My tax people are working on it. We think it is very unjust. We will seek the remedial (action), whatever that can be done through the process,” he was quoted telling Malaysiakini at Parliament.

However, he said he was unable to disclose the specifics of the bill.

Asked whether he would fulfill his promise to produce evidence that some of his income were ‘donations’, Najib affirmed that he will do so.

However, when asked if the tax amounted to RM1.5 billion, Najib did not answer.

Yesterday, The Edge financial daily reported that the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) had billed Najib for an extra RM1.5 billion of income tax which it said was due between 2011 and 2017.

The financial paper quoted anonymous sources saying that Najib had undeclared taxable income of close to RM4 billion during that period — which also included the RM2.6 billion that Najib has insisted was a donation he received from Saudi Arabia.

Najib previously claimed that foreign funding, including the purported donation from Saudi origins, is not taxable in Malaysia.

Last year, Najib had admitted that he did not verify the source of the RM2.6 billion that ended up in his bank account, which had allegedly been siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Speaking to Al Jazeera’s 101 Eastshow, the former prime minister said he had assumed the money was “donations” connected to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud after the latter gave assurance of his support.