KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today warned that the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) would go after both current and former ministers with tax arrears, days after a report that Najib Razak was told to pay RM1.5 billion in income tax.
“If they don’t pay, LHDN will go find them,” the prime minister told reporters in the Parliament lobby.
On Monday, The Edge Financial Daily, quoting sources, said that LHDN had ordered Najib to pay the sum for undeclared taxable income from 2011 to 2017 when he was given over RM4 billion, including the RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi Arabia.
Mahathir claimed that when Najib was prime minister, “huge taxes” were imposed on certain people after being backdated for 10 years.
“Of course, that’s not legal,” he added. “You can’t backdate when these people already paid their taxes according to law.”
Last year, Mahathir claimed there were individuals and business people who were forced to pay more taxes than necessary by the previous government.
These people, he alleged, were told they would be blacklisted and have their passports impounded if they failed to pay their taxes.
When asked if Putrajaya is looking to dispose of more assets, Mahathir said if necessary.
“But of course, we will sell land to Malaysians, not to foreigners,” he added.
On brickbats from the opposition on the sale of government assets, Mahathir said they could oppose all they want but “they are not in power”.
“The opposition’s job is to oppose. The government’s job is to do what the government thinks is right.”
The sale of Malaysia’s assets cropped up in Parliament after it was revealed that the Malaysian consulate building along Glouchester Road, Hong Kong, was disposed of for RM1.68 billion.