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Najib says bankruptcy notice meant to disqualify him from becoming next PM after survey ranked him as first choice

The Independent logo The Independent 3 days ago Anna Maria Romero
a man wearing a hat © The Independent Singapore

Kuala Lumpur—Former Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claims the authorities are out to get him because a poll showed he is the frontrunner to become the head of state once again.

His detractors want him to cease to be a member of Parliament before the country’s next general election, scheduled to be held on or before Sept 16, 2023.

The former prime minister was recently served with a notice of bankruptcy by Malaysia’s Inland Revenue Board due to his failure to pay a tax bill to the tune of RM1.74 billion (S$564 million).

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 6) he wrote that the “tyrannical” tax he is being asked to pay has no merit and also questioned its timing.

He has, therefore, had his lawyer obtain a stay order.

Mr Najb also posted a photo of the notice from the IRB.

text, letter: Fb screengrab: Najib Razak © The Independent Singapore Fb screengrab: Najib Razak

“I will use all my capabilities to come up with the best appeal alongside my lawyers, to help the wise judges make a decision that is based on truth,” he wrote in his post.

He found a representative of the IRB at his home after the completion of Monday’s court session, who gave him the notice of bankruptcy relating to a summary of his income tax from 2011 to 2017.

“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,” Mr Najib added.

He also wrote that he believes the timing of the bankruptcy notice was meant to be a roadblock for him for the coming election.

He cited an undated survey of 60,000 people by the Universiti Utara Malaysia wherein he said the majority of respondents chose him to be the next prime minister.

In comparison, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the current head of state, only ranked fourth.

Mr Najib added, “Barisan Nasional (BN) is also the first choice coalition in the poll, while Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) position is shaky.”

He also said he had paid his taxes when he was the prime minister, and that the amounts being sought by the IRB stem from an unreasonable penalty plus an additional assessment.

The additional amount comes from taxes on donations, which had already been classified as exempt in the past.

“Imagine receiving an RM1.7 billion tax penalty for using money from Saudi Arabia to help flood victims and mosques throughout the country for four years!

“We made sure the money was used for the people, places of worship and helping those in need without having to be indebted to any company cronies,” Mr Najib wrote.

The bankruptcy notice filed against the former prime minister is said to be scheduled for case management on May 5, an unnamed source told  Malaysiakini.

/TISG

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