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Tebrau MP denies PH claim of pressure from tax and anti-graft agencies

LHDN and MACC also deny being used to pressure opposition politicians and their family members.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Tebrau MP Steven Choong declaring his support for Muhyiddin Yassin at a recent meeting with the prime minister. Photo: Facebook
Tebrau MP Steven Choong declaring his support for Muhyiddin Yassin at a recent meeting with the prime minister. Photo: Facebook

The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have dismissed a suggestion by Pakatan Harapan (PH) top leaders that they are being used to pressure opposition politicians, while a former PKR MP flatly rejects the coalition’s claim as “blatantly untrue, uncalled for and done with ill will”.

Tebrau MP Steven Choong, who recently left PKR and was named by PH as among individuals pressured into supporting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, said the coalition’s leaders were making “all kinds of irresponsible allegations at their whim and fancy”.

“I wish to state in no uncertainty that I left PH voluntarily. The allegation that I have been attacked by various enforcement bodies are reckless and baseless,” Choong said.

“I left PH because I have totally lost confidence in the leadership of PH and wish to be able to do more for the country generally and my constituency specifically.”

LHDN meanwhile said it is bound by the country’s taxation laws and has no business linking any investigation to taxpayers’ political loyalties.

“As the country’s main revenue collection agency, LHDN remains committed to carrying out its duties without fear or favour. LHDN is always fair and equitable, acts with integrity to all taxpayers, and operates in accordance with the provisions of tax laws in a professional manner,” it said.

The tax agency also said any actions it takes are solely based on failures to fulfil taxation criteria.

“LHDN does not keep details of one’s ethnic or religious backgrounds, and certainly not an individual’s political inclination in its database as these do not help in making risk assessment of a certain case,” it added.

Meanwhile, MACC said its investigations have no political motive.

“The accusations are unfounded and irresponsible which may tarnish the reputation of MACC and create a negative perception of the commission,” the anti-graft body said.

Yesterday, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu said actions by LHDN, MACC and the police are being taken against opposition MPs and their family members, adding that these are designed to pressure them into supporting Muhyiddin.

Apart from Choong, they also named Julau MP Larry Sng as among individuals targeted by government agencies.

Choong and Sng recently quit PKR to become independent MPs friendly to Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional bloc.