Court orders former Malaysian PM Najib to pay $550 million in additional income tax

Former premier Najib Razak was given 60 days to pay the taxes, but had failed to do so.
Former premier Najib Razak was given 60 days to pay the taxes, but had failed to do so.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday (July 22) ordered former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak to pay additional income tax totalling RM1.69 billion (S$550 million) to the government.

This followed a summary judgment that has been entered against Najib. A summary judgment is when a court makes its decision without going to a full trial.

"There exist no triable issues to warrant a full trial. Consequently, the court has no alternative but to enter a summary judgment against the defendant for the amount claimed by the plaintiff," said the court.

"This court holds that a summary judgment is entered against the defendant for the amount claimed by the plaintiff as in the plaintiff's statement of claims, that is RM1,692,872,924.83 with cost."

The court also fixed RM15,000 in costs.

Najib, who turns 67 tomorrow, was not present in court, according to news portal The Malaysian Insight.

On June 25, 2019, the government, through the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), filed suit against Najib seeking payment for a total of RM1.69 billion, with 5 per cent a year interest from the date of judgment, as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

It also said Najib was given 60 days to pay the taxes but had failed to do so.

In July the same year, Najib filed an application to stay the proceedings of the main suit pending an appeal on the tax assessment to IRB, but it was dismissed, resulting in a hearing of submission for summary judgment.

Najib is also facing five corruption trials linked to state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The first trial, related to funds misappropriated from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, was finally closed early last month, with the verdict set for July 28.

The 1MDB scandal has sparked global investigations into corruption and money laundering, with prosecutors estimating US$4.5 billion (S$6.24 billion) was siphoned from the Malaysian investment fund.

Najib was ousted as premier in the 2018 election that saw Malaysians rallying against the 1MDB scandal and the high cost of living. That led to the country's first change of government since its independence and a crackdown against those involved in the 1MDB case.

Following political turmoil in February, Najib's party Umno has since returned to the ruling administration, spurring concern over the ongoing 1MDB trials and investigations.