KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested today that the government impose a direct tax on the profits that tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook derived from Malaysia.

He said Malaysia should follow the footsteps of countries such as Australia in doing this as it would help generate income for Malaysia.

“These companies reaped profits but have never been taxed by our country. This (imposed) tax is on their profits, not for the usage by the customers.

“This is not a new thing, other countries have succeeded in doing that, so Malaysia has to start to do the same,” he told Dewan Rakyat during his turn to debate the motion of thanks and the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today.

Malaysia is among countries that leverage a so-called “digital tax” on online purchases and transactions made in the country.

Najib also suggested the government introduce a Covid-19 recovery tax on items such windfall profits and luxury condominium development, and raise the personal tax rates for higher income groups.

“After two years, we can stop the increase of tax,” he said.