Najib says political contributions not taxable by law after he's hit by RM1.5b tax bill

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 1): Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has claimed that political contributions are not taxable under the law.

"First of all, political contributions including from the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia are not subject to or taxed under the law. Secondly, as it is general knowledge, income derived from foreign countries is not taxable under the law," Najib wrote in a Facebook post this afternoon.

He was responding to news that he had been slapped with a RM1.5 billion tax bill.

The Edge Financial Daily today reported that the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) had slapped Najib with an extra tax bill of around RM1.5 billion for 2011-2017.

Citing sources, the publication said the IRB sent a letter to Najib just over a week ago stating the extra tax he has to pay.

The amount is on top of what the former prime minister had paid based on his declared income for the seven years.

Following investigations into the matter, the board had concluded that Najib did not declare taxable income of almost RM4 billion for the period — including a RM2.6 billion "donation" from the government of Saudi Arabia.

Malaysian and US investigators say the source of the funds was 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

"If the Pakatan Harapan government wanted to, they could claim tax penalties as much as RM5 billion or RM10 billion from any individual because it is in their power.

"However that is just a claim and it is not certain whether they are right or entitled to receive the money. We must follow the law.

"If the PH government wants to, they may also leak the information of an individual's taxes even though it is supposed to be kept secret under the law, if they think it benefits their political interests.

"The Government can do as they please, but I believe that justice will prevail and the people will be able to assess by themselves whether this government is fair or has abused their power for their political interests," Najib said.