Najib cries “unjust” over tax bill after tasting his own medicine

Arthur Ashe, the legendary tennis champion while dying in pain, said:” If I were to ask, “God, why me?” about the bad things, then I should have said, “God, why me?” about the good things that happened in my life.”[1]

On 8th August 2016, when Najib was Finance Minister, a cardiologist in KL was charged for alleged tax evasion by failing to declare more than RM25 million of his earnings to the Inland Revenue Board. He was said to have owed RM 6.5 million of income tax. The penalties were set at 300% of the owed amount totaling RM19.7 million.[2] The total tax and penalties was more than the original income.

There was little sympathy for the doctor among the general public and netizens. The prevailing opinion being he was lucky to have earned so much at the first place. There was also resentment against the doctor for not declaring the income.

Soon after, businesses and individuals throughout the country were hit with the markedly increased number of tax raids and hefty tax bills. There were military-like operations with officers armed with firearms. Many still shudder at the memories of what happened.

When Najib was served with the world record breaking tax bill of RM1.5 billion, he first claimed the money was a donation and not taxable. Then he “fumed” at the basis of calculation and the definition of income. To him it was a very “unjust” bill.

Najib had forgotten how he had forced people to pay extra taxes and penalties out of their hard earned income. Even tycoons and public listed companies with accounts prepared by big accounting firms were not spared. Some even went bankrupt as they were already struggling during the economic downturn caused by the implementation of Goods and Services Tax(GST). It was indeed a harrowing time for the country as Najib appeared to be slaughtering the geese that lay the golden eggs.

Najib failed to declare RM4 billion of income. Individual income tax rate was increased to maximum 28% in 2016 by none other than Najib himself. The taxes due was RM1.1 billion accordingly. Minimum penalty of 45% will make the total amount payable up to RM1.6 billion. The maximum penalty rate of 300% will put the final bill at RM4.4 billion.

Najib is now crying over the RM1.5 billion tax bill. He never asked “why me?” when he received RM4 billions of income or “donation”. He never asked why the penalty was only charged at the 45% and not maximum rate of 300% to make the tax bill even higher RM4.4 billion.

Every company, every individual in the world would be happy to receive a legitimate windfall of RM4 billion income or donation and pay a minimum RM1.5 billion tax bill immediately. Najib as the “lucky chosen recipient” is crying and refusing to pay taxes due on his fortune. He wants to have the cake and eat it without sharing a crumb.

All the tax-payers in Malaysia have experienced the bitter medicine prescribed by Najib and parted with their hard earned cash to the national coffer. Much of it was stolen in mega-scandals involving 1MDB, Tabung Haji, FGV and Mara. The most pathetic sight that we want to see now is a pathetic spoilt brat Najib crying after tasting his own medicine. He will not get any sympathies.

Dr Ko Chung Sen
Media statement by Dr. Ko Chung Sen in Ipoh on Wednesday, 3rd April 2019