Saturday, June 12, 2021

Najib yet to be declared bankrupt, says lawyer

He says the former PM will file applications to stay the bankruptcy proceedings and set aside the bankruptcy notice before May 24.

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Former prime minister Najib Razak has yet to be declared bankrupt over his failure to pay RM1.69 billion in additional income tax arrears to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), according to his counsel.

Lawyer Wee Yeong Kang told reporters that High Court deputy registrar Ida Rahayu Sharif had informed the parties concerned that the act of bankruptcy against Najib had not yet occurred even though revenue counsel Athari Faris Ammerry Hussein, who acted for LHDN, asked for the act of bankruptcy to be recorded by the court immediately.

“We objected to the LHDN application (for the act of bankruptcy to be recorded) due to incorrectness and misguidance of the rules that govern the bankruptcy proceedings.

“The court then informed the parties (concerned) that the act of bankruptcy has not yet occurred at this stage,” he said after the case came up for case management through online proceedings today.

The lawyer said his client would file applications to stay the bankruptcy proceedings and set aside the bankruptcy notice before May 24.

Wee said the court also set the same day for the next case management for an update on the status of the applications.

On Feb 4, the government through LHDN filed a bankruptcy notice against Najib as a debtor for failing to pay income tax amounting to RM1.69 billion as ruled by the High Court in July last year.

Based on the notice, Najib has to pay RM1.69 billion with a 5% interest rate per annum on the total balance from July 22, 2020 (the date of the High Court’s decision) to Feb 4, 2021. The total payable amount as of the latter date was RM1,738,804,204.16.

On July 22 last year, the High Court ruled that Najib had to pay LHDN RM1.69 billion in additional tax and penalties for the period of 2011 to 2017 after allowing the agency’s application to enter a summary judgment against him.

A summary judgment is when the court decides on a particular case summarily, without calling witnesses to testify in a trial.

Najib has filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision in the Court of Appeal, which will hear the case on June 16.

Under Section 103 (2) of the Income Tax Act 1967, a person ordered to pay the assessment has to settle the payment to LHDN even if an appeal has been filed.

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