Friday, June 8, 2018

IRB Are Only Doing Their Job

Inland Revenue Board’s chief executive officer Sabin Samitah (pic) had announced that the RM2.6 billion “donation” deposited into Najib Razak’s bank accounts will be re-examined in relation to the tax treatment. 

What gives? 

This Sabin fella is suddenly taking this initiative – and I am asking why? 

Last year, the IRB were aggressively pursuing individuals and businesses linked to the Prime Minister. 

We all know this was because Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister for 22 years to 2003, had joined the then opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan. 

And Mahathir had complained to the media in May that the taxman had been harassing businesspersons close to him. 

The much-publicized tax probe against Country Height’s Lee Kim Yew was highlighted and described by Mahathir as a sad story. The latter wrote in his blog that this belligerent move by IRB showed the “depths to which the government of Malaysia, its prime minister and civil servants have sunk”. 

He said Lee’s willingness to pay the tax had been rejected after many negotiations where the IRB had agreed on the terms “but subsequently reneged on its agreements”. 

Lee, the executive chairperson of Country Heights Holdings Bhd had even clarified that he did not have any personal tax liability – but rather, a surplus tax credit with IRB. 

It had been reported that the IRB had seized Lee’s fixed deposits placed with a foreign-owned bank amounting to RM126 million. The justification given was that the total tax liabilities of CHHB’s wholly owned subsidiary, Country Heights Sdn Bhd for the years of assessment 1997 and 1998 totalling RM22.5 million were unpaid. 

The Star had quoted Lee as saying the use of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act to investigate his tax was a humiliation for him. 

Mahathir had then questioned why no investigations were being made under AMLA with regards to the RM2.6 billion found in then Prime Minister Najib Razak’s accounts. 

The efficient IRB did not stop there. 

In August, they went after companies owned by Mahathir’s three sons. 

Kencana Capital, a venture capital firm owned by millionaire businessperson Mokhzani was raided, as was Crescent Capital, a venture firm headed by Mirzan. Likewise, optics company Opcom Holdings founded by politician Mukhriz Mahathir. In all cases, files were taken away. 

We shouldn't think anything negative. Sabin and the IRB were diligently doing their job, that's all. 

We shouldn’t cast aspersions on it. 

Yesterday, Sabin said the IRB will scrutinize Najib’s windfall that came from the Saudi “donation”! 

Again, he is only doing his job. Of course, to do a good job, he needs to keep his job. 

I am sure he has no intention to be one of the many casualties afflicting heads of government departments and GLCs of late. 

So many resignations. I wonder why!

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