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IRB bound by law to keep investigation confidential

Nikita Nawawi
Written by Nikita Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – August 3, 2015: The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) will not disclose any information regarding its investigations on taxpayers, even if it involves Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This was the answer given in response to the latest blog entry by elder statesman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who inquired if IRB has acted on the allegation that a sum of RM2.6 billion had been deposited into Najib’s personal account.

IRB public relations officer Masrun Maslim when contacted today said under Section 138 of the Income Tax Act 1967, which provides that certain material probed by the board need to be treated as confidential.

“Taxation investigation is indeed within our jurisdiction but to commence an investigation on someone is not that simple.

“IRB has to undertake multi-level of procedures before summoning anyone,” he said.

Masrun however declined to comment further when asked whether an investigation could be initiated based on the allegation against Najib.

He then asked The Mole to look out for possible statement from the IRB chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukor Mahfar.

A questionnaire on the matter had been sent via email to Shukor.

The allegation against Najib was first made by New York-based daily Wall Street Journal which last month alleged that the money supposedly in Najib’s account originated from companies linked to state-owned strategic investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The money was then claimed to be used for Barisan Nasional’s campaign in the previous general election, in 2013.

Dr Mahathir in his latest blog posting today asked whether the IRB has taken any action regarding the allegation against Najib, as they did to him before.

“During the elections in 1964 and 1969, cash totalling RM20,000 from headquarters was handed to me for distribution; 40 per cent to parliamentary constituency and 30 per cent to state assembly constituency each.

“As I was not willing to hold this sum of RM20,000 in cash, I put it in my account and issued a cheque to the Election Committee of Parliament and the State Assembly for distribution as determined by the Head Office.

“This money is not from donors but this is Umno’s money that is usually given to constituencies for use by candidates,” Dr Mahathir wrote.

He added that by the time he was expelled from the party in 1970, the Department of Internal Revenue that searched his home and clinic found the cheque stub that he issued and claimed that he did not disclosed reported income in full.

“They fined me a total of RM300,000 with a warning that if I disagreed and went to court I would be fined three fold.

“I did not go to court. Instead I appealed that the money which was deposited in my account was from the party but Umno headquarters did not confirm that the money was from the party.

“Finally, I was imposed a fine of RM130,000. During the time the fine was imposed I was already appointed a minister in the government. I paid gradually and I finished paying when I was the deputy prime minister,” he said in the posting.

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About the author

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi is an up-and-coming writer who started his involvement in the media industry serving established local English daily, before joining The Mole in October 2014 as journalist.