Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today claimed that foreign funding is not taxable in Malaysia, following a report that he was allegedly being billed for RM1.5 billion in income tax owed to the government due between 2011 and 2017.
Earlier today, The Edge Financial Daily quoted anonymous sources saying that Najib had undeclared taxable income of almost RM4 billion during that period – which also included the RM2.6 billion that Najib has insisted was a donation he received from Saudi Arabia.
In his Facebook post today, Najib did not directly confirm receiving such a demand for RM1.5 billion in unpaid taxes or the news report but insisted that foreign donations are not bound by local laws.
“Firstly, political contribution, including from the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Finance, is not subject to tax under the law.
“Secondly, as is publicly known, income obtained from abroad is not taxable under taxation laws,” he said.
Najib said he was the custodian of party funds, asserting that part of an RM2.6 billion sum that he was accused of receiving was also alleged to have been channelled to political parties for political work. Najib also claimed to have returned a large part of the RM2.6 billion amount.
The financial paper today also quoted tax experts saying donations are subject to income tax, and Najib has committed an offence by not declaring the RM2.6 billion as his income, regardless of the source.
Earlier report: Apr 1, Najib Gets RM1.5B Tax Bill