'I'm surprised to be accused of manipulating IRB' - Dr Mahathir

17 Oct 2023 10:16pm
Dr Mahathir
Dr Mahathir

SHAH ALAM - Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad slammed UMNO supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi for accusing him of manipulating the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

This is after former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his son Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin who now have to pay up more than RM1.7 billion in tax arrears for the years 2011 to 2017 to the IRB.

Dr Maahthir said if there was evidence that Najib was manipulated by a certain party, the matter needed to be accompanied by evidence so that it could be evaluated by the judiciary.

The statement issued by Puad seemed to indicate that the judge did not know how to evaluate evidence and witnesses, he added.

"If Puad has evidence that the IRB was manipulated by me, why didn't he give that evidence to Najib's lawyer and offer himself as a defence witness? "Instead, he just resorted to making noises outside the court and letting Najib face the lawsuit, and eventually he lost his case," he said in a statement on Facebook on Tuesday.

On Monday, Najib and his son, Mohd Nazifuddin, had to repay more than RM1.7 billion in tax arrears for the years 2011 to 2017 to the IRB.

The decision was made after five panels of the Federal Court on Monday, led by Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, unanimously rejected the appeal of the former Prime Minister and Nazifuddin against the judgment directly obtained by the IRB to obtain the value of the tax.

Commenting further, Dr Mahathir said cases involving the government must obtain approval from the Attorney-General before being brought to court.

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He said that the judge will make an assessment based on the evidence presented and also call witnesses.

"If the Attorney-General's Office feels that this case does not have a solid basis then it will not be brought to court.

"If there are no authentic and strong witnesses and evidence, then the judge will throw out the case," he said.