Putrajaya should disclose how much the country’s top 20 billionaires including Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir contribute in taxes, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim demanded today.

The PKR de facto chief alleged that there was pressure from the country’s mega-rich for concessions on the amount of taxes they pay.

“I want to ask among the top 20 billionaires, how much in tax are we getting because we don’t want the rich to be given too much space and flexibility that they can escape paying taxes through loopholes,” he said while debating the amendment bill to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) Act 1995.

The former finance minister pointed out that billionaires including T. Ananda Krishnan, Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s son were able to grow their net worth “in a short period of time”.

Adding that there were claims the group also received preferential treatment not available to the average taxpayer, Anwar said the IRB must get more power to resist alleged pressure from the wealthiest in the country.

“It is not easy for normal people to get leeway, but I received information where the board was pressured and the billionaires were given flexibility [to pay] in instalments of up to 18 months.

“If this is consistently given to all, then I don’t have a problem with it, but of course we can’t give exceptions,” he said.

Anwar also said the board should study watchdog group Global Financial Integrity’s report to trace illicit funds, which he said did not appear in the banking system and the IRB’s records.

“How can we burden the people to pay when the richest can run away with billions?”

Source : Malay Mail

Hunt down tax evaders even if they are my friends, Anwar tells LHDN

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has encouraged the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to aggressively find ways to hunt down those who evade paying taxes, even if they are his friends or supporters.

“Whether they are my friends or my supporters, paying tax is compulsory, and LHDN must go all-out to collect tax from them,” he said at an event to mark LHDN’s 27th anniversary here today.

In June last year, LHDN said 31,598 entities had yet to declare their income that resulted in RM665 million in lost revenue for the government.

It said this could “adversely impact the country’s economic stability” if not addressed immediately.

LHDN said these entities, which included nearly 24,000 individuals, were identified based on asset ownership and their ability to secure loans and securities valued at RM500,000 and above.

‘Root out systemic corruption’

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said the country must intensify efforts to root out corruption, which he described as being “systemic”.

While he did not name any parties, he said numerous political leaders had accumulated “massive wealth”.

He said while there were certain quarters who claimed that they were clean, they were operating in a “dirty system”.

Anwar also chided Muslims clad in “robes and kopiah”, but who defended the corrupt.

“What is the point of living if (they have) no moral values?” he said, without naming anyone.

Source : FMT

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