KUALA LUMPUR: Tycoon Lee Kim Yew has paid RM22.7 million to settle the tax liabilities claimed by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) against Country Heights Sdn Bhd (CHSB).
CHSB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Country Heights Holdings Bhd. Lee is executive chairman and major shareholder of the parent company.
The Edge reported that in a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Country Heights said the settlement was made by Lee as the major shareholder of the company, and that it was not his personal liability.
According to the report, the company said the IRB had withdrawn its winding up petition against CHSB at the Shah Alam High Court.
In May, Lee, a friend of PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said his fixed deposits of about RM126 million placed in a foreign-owned bank had been seized by the IRB.
Lee notified the company via a letter dated May 8 that he “understands” the seizure was in relation to RM22.5 million worth of tax liabilities incurred by CHSB.
The tax liabilities, The Edge reported, were accrued from the years of assessment of 1997 and 1998, during the Asian Financial Crisis.
Lee then agreed to allow his fixed deposits seized by the IRB to be used to settle the tax liability of CHSB.
In May, Lee had also accused the authorities of bullying tactics by initiating criminal investigations against him.
He said he was being humiliated, especially as he was being investigated under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla) instead of being subjected to civil action.
Lee explained in a letter to his friends: “I would like all my friends to know that I don’t have any personal tax liability. In fact, I have a surplus tax credit with IRB.”
Lee is known to be close to Mahathir, who is on record as saying that the government has been harassing his family and friends, including through the use of the IRB, to get at him.