Najib has room to avoid bankruptcy

“There are still ways for him to fight, appeal and buy time, especially during the Covid period” including dragging him into the next election

by RAHIMI YUNUS / photo by TMR FILE

DATUK Seri Mohd Najib Razak (Photo) can still save time and ultimately avoid bankruptcy, despite do not suspend the 1.69 billion RM order to pay arrears of taxes and penalties owed to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

A senior lawyer said there are still many legal proceedings left before a person can be declared bankrupt, while Najib could appeal the High Court’s decision to dismiss his request for a stay of the summary judgment.

“There are still ways for him to fight, appeal and save time, especially in times of Covid.

“He could drag it out until the next general election which is due to take place by 2023,” the senior lawyer said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the issue is legally sensitive. Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

The source said the former prime minister (PM) could exhaust all available remedies, including the latest High Court ruling.

Najib’s lead defense attorney Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not immediately respond to a request for comment from VMR on the next line of defense.

Muhammad Shafee had previously said that his client’s parliamentary seat and political career were at stake if bankruptcy action was taken.

He had said that Najib “will lose everything, his pension and his properties will be auctioned to have it all executed.” It will never be reversible ”.

On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Najib’s request to stay the court’s judgment for the payment of taxes pending an appeal and a tax assessment with the Special Commissioners of Income Tax (SCIT), a special court that deals with tax appeals on the amount of tax. evaluated.

This means that IRB could initiate bankruptcy proceedings against Najib.

Judge Ahmad Bache ruled that the former prime minister had no serious grounds for a suspension to be granted because he had failed to prove special circumstances to the court.

He added that if a stay of execution for Najib was granted, the IRB would be prevented from filing recovery actions against the Pekan MP, thus setting a bad precedent.

Lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid said that being and maintaining as an MP requires someone to be solvent and bankruptcy is the test of solvency.

He said Najib’s recourse, other than legal filings, would be to convince the IRB to agree to a stay given the unprecedented novelty of the case.

On February 4, the IRB issued a bankruptcy notice against Najib as a debtor for non-payment of RM 1.69 billion in arrears of income tax and penalties, as decided by the High Court in summary judgment.

After the bankruptcy notice, there could be two avenues, either full settlement or an acceptable proposal for full settlement; or filing for bankruptcy, which will then be heard, depending on information in the public domain.

The court will issue a receiver order once the debt of the petitioning creditor, the bankruptcy deed and service of the petition have been proven to the satisfaction of the court.

As it stood, Najib had appealed to the Court of Appeal and the SCIT against the injunction to pay the tax and the assessed amount respectively.

Ahmad said in Monday’s ruling that if the defendant wins their appeal to the SCIT, any additional amounts collected could be refunded and, therefore, there is no problem with the appeal until the SCIT is released. inoperative.

The judge also said that the defendant can always negotiate with the plaintiff to have certain payments made pending the disposition of the hearing at the SCIT, and more often than not the IRB subscribes to a payment system which is a situation ” win-win ”for both parties.

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