Court rejects Najib’s bid to suspend RM1.69b tax arrears payments

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by TMR FILE

DATUK Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) has failed to obtain a stay of execution against a summary judgment involving an RM1.69 billion payment in additional income tax arrears and penalties owed to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed his application to pause the court judgement for the taxes payments pending a court appeal and tax assessment at the Special Commissioners of Income Tax (SCIT), a special tribunal that handles tax appeals on the amount of tax assessed.

As the defendant, Judge Ahmad Bache ruled that Najib had no strong grounds for a stay to be granted as he had failed to prove special circumstances to the court.

The judge also said that every taxpayer stands equal before the law, and a stay of execution for Najib would estop IRB from filing any recovery actions against the former prime minister and create a bad precedent.

“It will set a bad precedent to be followed and used by other taxpayers as a ground to avoid or delay paying taxes and giving rise, albeit wrongly, to an inference that double standards are being allowed and being practised,” Ahmad said in the hearing today.

On Feb 4, IRB had issued a bankruptcy notice against Najib following his failure to settle the tax arrears.

Najib’s lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah reportedly said Najib would “lose everything” if a bankruptcy order was granted.