Najib Razak served with bankruptcy notice over failure to pay US$400M taxes

Najib Razak in a photo from March 2021. Photo: Najib Razak/Facebook
Najib Razak in a photo from March 2021. Photo: Najib Razak/Facebook

Malaysia’s tax office has filed a bankruptcy notice against former prime minister Najib Razak over his failure to pay nearly RM1.7 billion (about US$411 million) worth of personal income tax. 

The notice was filed on Feb. 4 by the Inland Revenue Board, or LHDN. Najib, 67, shared a photo of the notice to his Facebook page yesterday, calling it “unfair” and that he was taking the matter to court. 

“My heart aches because I feel like this case is so unfair towards me,” Najib said. If declared bankrupt, he will lose his Pekan parliamentary seat and will no longer be able to contest in future elections. His hearing for the tax case has been set for May 5. 

The notice comes as Najib began his appeal against corruption and money laundering charges. According to the LHDN document, the high court had ruled that Najib owed RM1.69 billion in personal taxes for the period between 2011 and 2017. Najib was also ordered to pay 5% interest. 

Najib claimed yesterday that the income being taxed was linked to the RM3 billion he said was donated by the Saudi Arabian Finance Ministry for “flood victims” and building of mosques during his premiership. He also claimed that the tax case was brought upon by the previous Pakatan Harapan government as well as the current Perikatan Nasional government.

“The PN government has continued to pursue this unproven, unmerited income tax case, which was first started by the PH administration,” he said. 

Other stories to check out:

Najib Razak begins appeal against 1MDB-linked charges

Lawyer says Rosmah ‘upset and distressed’ after judge told her to enter defense over graft charges

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