RM2.6 billion donation not subject to tax, says Najib

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak says the political donation received from Saudi Arabia is not subject to taxes under the law, amid reports that he has been asked to pay RM1.5 billion in income tax.

Earlier today, The Edge Financial Daily, quoting sources, said the Inland Revenue Board had sent a letter to Najib over RM4 billion in undeclared taxable income between 2011 and 2017, including the RM2.6 billion supposedly received from Saudi Arabia.

In a Facebook post, however, Najib said income received from outside the country is not subject to tax under existing tax laws.

“This is besides the fact that I am the guardian of party funds and that it was all for party matters,” he said, adding that the government had also accused him of channelling funds to Umno, MCA and other parties and individuals for political purposes instead of personal spending.

He said the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government had already pressed charges against him for receiving the RM2.6 billion, and slapped him with another four charges for returning a large part of the sum four months later.

The Pekan MP said the government had wide-ranging powers, including demanding that he pays as much tax as they want or imposing penalties even though the matter is still in court.

“If the PH government wants, they can claim tax of RM5 billion or RM10 billion from any individual as they have the power to do so.”

But whether they have the right to do so is a different matter as the process still needs to follow the law, he said.

“The PH government can do as they wish but I am confident that justice will be served and the people will be able to judge for themselves if the government has been fair or abusing its powers for their political interests.”