Anwar tells LHDN not to let kopiah, false piety deter it from collecting all taxes due
SEPANG, March 6 — The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) must hold the right values and ensure all including the very wealthy did not shirk their tax obligations to Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said he had to express this even if it were unpopular, adding that it was crucial to ensure loopholes and weak enforcement did not prevent Malaysia from collecting all the taxes it was owed.
Speaking at the 27th Hari Hasil at Menara Hasil tonight, Anwar said it appeared as though the LHDN did not pursue all taxpayers with the same zeal, alleging that some were treated with undeserved deference.
“We need good values and culture in our agencies where, for years, the super-rich and the privileged have benefitted by avoiding paying taxes.
“They’ve (super-rich) managed to manipulate the system by acting like saints with their kopiah (skullcaps) and religious acts, talking about protecting Islam and Muslims to the point even the employees start protecting these people.
“This baffles me. What’s the point of being a professional working in LHDN when you don’t have good values? Hence why I say we need better ways to handle tax collections from the elite and I want LHDN to be at the forefront of this,” he said.
Anwar gave examples of how former finance ministers were able to receive hundreds of millions of ringgit without anyone from LHDN questioning it.
He was alluding to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s time when he was finance minister.
He said these types of abuses were possible since many politicians held government roles.
This was also something Anwar said wanted to change as the finance minister.
“We hear about government tenders in the billions, but always there will be at least RM200 million missing.
“These are things we need to avoid at all costs,” he added.