Tuesday, May 24, 2022

LHDN comes under attack from pro-Najib cybertroopers

The attacks on the tax agency come two days after the former prime minister lodged a police report against it.

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The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has come under attack on social media and sites believed to be operated by supporters of Najib Razak, two days after the former prime minister lodged a police report accusing the agency of being politically motivated in seeking over RM1 billion in tax arrears.

The attacks were initiated by sites disguised as news portals, claiming that LHDN officials would reveal the names of the politicians who had supposedly instructed LHDN to impose the tax penalties on the Pekan MP.

According to one portal, the LHDN officials involved had violated Sections 167, 192, 196 and 197 of the Penal Code.

It also accused a high-ranking tax official of having bought a luxury car for his wife.

Another website close to the pro-Najib group in Umno meanwhile attacked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Registrar of Societies, accusing them of being political tools.

Access to the articles on these portals was shared by some of Najib’s supporters on social media.

One of them, Aizat Asyraf, demanded that LHDN reveal the names of the politicians supposedly behind the imposition of tax penalties on the former prime minister.

Najib lodged the police report against LHDN on Sept 8.

He claimed that LHDN officials as well as certain politicians had violated Sections 167, 192, 196 and 197 of the Penal Code as well as Section 23 of the MACC Act involving the abuse of power and the use of forged documents.

However, social media users hit out at Najib over his move to lodge a police report.

Some reminded the former prime minister of his previous remark that those who fail to pay their taxes are traitors to the country.

Many also questioned the timing of his police report, asking why it was not lodged until Ismail Sabri Yaakob took over from Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister last month.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals of Najib and his son, Mohd Nazifuddin, against two previous High Court rulings allowing LHDN to enter summary judgments to recover RM1.69 billion from Najib and RM37.6 million from Nazifuddin.

The government through LHDN filed the suit against Najib on June 25, 2019, seeking total payment of RM1.69 billion for income tax arrears from 2011 to 2017, with interest at 5% a year from the date of judgment, as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

The High Court ruled on July 22 last year that Najib had to pay LHDN the amount in question after allowing the tax agency’s application to enter a summary judgment against the former prime minister.

The decision was upheld by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 14. Judge Ahmad Bache said there was no strong basis for Najib to receive a stay of execution and that every taxpayer, like every citizen, stands equal before the law.

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