Dr M: IRB goes after anyone who doesn't pay tax including ex-ministers

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 5, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is going after anybody who does not fulfil their tax obligations and is not selectively investigating former ministers from the previous Barisan Nasional administration, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

“[It is] not only past ministers. Anybody [who] doesn’t pay, the IRB will go after them,” he said when asked whether more former ministers will be investigated by the IRB following former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s shocking RM1.5 billion tax bill.

“We also find that during Najib’s time, huge taxes were imposed on certain people, which were backdated for 10 years.

“That, of course, is not legal. You can’t have a new way of computing tax, when those people have already paid their taxes according to the former interpretation of the law,” he added.

In response to complaint by opposition members of parliament (MPs) of the Pakatan Harapan government’s bias in giving out allowances to MPs, Dr Mahathir said: “Look back at the practice of the previous government.”

The Dewan Rakyat was in chaos earlier this week when opposition MPs expressed dissatisfaction over their allocation of RM100,000 each, which was a fraction of what government MPs were allocated — RM1.5 million each with RM300,000 to go towards the management of a service centre.

However, during the BN government’s rule, opposition MPs were not entitled to such allocation.