Malaysia's ex-PM Najib served with bankruptcy notice over $564m tax bill

Najib said the "tyrannical" tax imposed on him has no merit.
Najib said the "tyrannical" tax imposed on him has no merit.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak says he has been served with a bankruptcy notice by the Inland Revenue Board for failing to pay a tax bill totalling RM1.74 billion (S$564 million).

He said the "tyrannical" tax imposed on him has no merit and has asked his lawyer to obtain a stay order, according to his Facebook post late Tuesday (April 6). "I will use all my capabilities to come up with the best appeal alongside my lawyers, to help the wise judges make a decision that is based on truth."

Najib said the case relates to RM3 billion put in an account under his name that was used to receive donations for corporate social responsibilities and political purposes.

The bankruptcy notice came as he began his appeal against his conviction last year on charges in a case involving millions he received from a former unit of troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Malaysia's court ruled in 2020 that Najib must pay RM1.69 billion in taxes, a bill he has disputed.

Being a bankrupt would mean he would lose his parliamentary seat and will be ineligible to contest for party polls and national elections, he said.

Najib has been a vocal critic of the current government despite his party, Umno, being part of the ruling administration.

Umno has said it will end its current ties with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin once the next general election is called. The party unexpectedly returned to power in March last year after Tan Sri Muhyiddin secured a razor-thin majority following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.