Wednesday, May 12, 2021

On brink of bankruptcy, Najib says he’s a ‘victim of injustice’

Former prime minister pens a lengthy and defiant piece in a break from his usual light-hearted remarks on Facebook.

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Najib Razak today described the Inland Revenue Board’s (LHDN) bankruptcy notice served on him yesterday as adding insult to the injury he had suffered, adding that he is a victim of injustice.

The former prime minister said this in a lengthy piece on his Facebook account, in a break from his usual sarcastic posts mocking his political enemies and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“How did it happen? This tax case was imposed on me by the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government and has no solid reason or merit whatsoever. It was then continued by the PN government,” he said.

The bankruptcy notice from LHDN was served to Najib over his failure to settle some RM1.7 billion in tax arrears for 2011 to 2017.

Najib questioned the demand from LHDN, saying it was related to political funds he had received.

“Even when I was the prime minister, I had always paid income tax without fail, but this unjust tax of RM1.74 billion (including a penalty of RM46 million since last year) is an additional assessment and an unreasonable penalty.

“Previously, LHDN had issued a statement stating that political donations were not taxable,” he wrote.

Najib also said that the money he received in a “special account” had been spent on “CSR and politics”, including contributions to mosques as well as flood aid over the years.

“Just imagine, I have been fined RM1.7 billion for using money from Saudi Arabia to help flood victims and mosques across the country for four years!”

He said tax accountants and lawyers agreed that the government had no merit in imposing such a penalty.

He added that if he were to be declared bankrupt, he would lose not only his income but also his ability to pay the legal fees for his defence.

“I can no longer pay my lawyer’s fees for my defence in court.”

He then said he would do his best in his bid to quash his corruption conviction involving millions of dollars of funds in his private bank account.

“As I prepared to go to court yesterday, it pained me to feel the weight of the injustice of this case.

“The dark clouds around me moved along with grief, and made me realise that what I am going through today is not something rare or new in the country’s legal history,” said Najib.

Adding that he would not allow those in power to “bully and intimidate” him, Najib also attacked those in Umno whom he said had acted treacherously.

“Could it be that in the greed of some parties preparing for the impending party elections, some have allowed themselves to be compromised by the enemy and indirectly revealed their true selves to me?” he asked.

LHDN had accused Najib of not declaring taxable income of close to RM4 billion for the years 2011 to 2017, including the RM2.6 billion which investigators said came from 1MDB.

Najib however insisted that the money was a donation from the Saudi Arabian king, and that funds used for CSR can be deducted from taxable income.

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