Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been served with a bankruptcy notice for failing to pay RM1.69 billion in income tax arrears
According to New Straits Times, the notice was filed by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 4 February.
The English daily sighted the notice as saying that Najib now has to pay RM1.69 billion with interest at 5% per annum on the total balance from 22 July 2020 to 4 Feb 2021, which amounted to RM45.9 million from the date of the summary judgement.
Malay Mail reported that the Pekan Member of Parliament (MP) also has to pay RM15,000 in court fees. Thus, Najib has to pay RM1.74 billion in total.
If Najib does not comply with the requests stated in the notice, LHDN said a bankruptcy proceeding could be instituted against him.
On 22 July last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Najib had to pay LHDN RM1.69 billion in additional tax and penalties for the period from 2011 to 2017.
The ruling was made by the court following LHDN's application for a summary judgement, a process that allows one party to move to a court decision without a trial.
The government — through LHDN — claimed that Najib had failed to pay his income tax from 2011 to 2017 within the stipulated 30-day period after assessment notices were issued to him.
On 31 March, Najib filed an appeal against the High Court's decision in the Court of Appeal
New Straits Times reported that the case will be heard on 16 June.
However, during this period, the former premier still has to pay the arrears. According to The Star, Section 103 (2) of the Income Tax Act 1967 stipulates that a person ordered to pay the assessment has to settle the payment to LHDN even if an appeal has been filed.
If Najib does not pay up, he will be disqualified as the MP for Pekan, paving the way for a by-election.
Additionally, that will also disallow him from contesting in party polls and elections, tarnishing his chances of becoming the prime minister in the next General Election.
After being served with the bankruptcy notice, Najib has taken to Facebook to claim that he is a victim of a political ploy that is trying to strip his MP status before the 15th General Election
He said he was given the notice by the authorities from LHDN at his private residence on Monday, 5 April.
The former premier questioned the timing of the move, which coincided with the first day of his appeal hearing. He also asked whether the notice was a move to "sprinkle salt to a bleeding wound" or to "further embarrass me".
"How did it happen? This tax case was imposed on me by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and has no solid reason or merit whatsoever. It was then continued by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government," he wrote in the Facebook post.
"I am sure, the timing of this bankruptcy notice is related to three issues."
Citing surveys conducted by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Utusan TV involving 60,000 respondents, he said that the majority wanted him to be premier again as compared to the incumbent Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who ranked fourth.
The second and third issues, he claims, have to do with UMNO's decision to not cooperate with Bersatu nor PN in GE15 and a recent decision by a court where the prosecutor failed to prove the items and money seized were obtained from 1MDB funds.
He added that the bankruptcy notice would make him lose all his savings which he is currently surviving on and is used to pay his lawyers.
In September last year, Malaysia's anti-graft body listed Najib Razak as a corruption offender on its online database: