Tan Sri Shahrir Samad yesterday said the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal account was known to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
Responding to a series of 15 questions posed by the son of the Johor Menteri Besar on a blog, the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chairman said there was currently no regulation on the need to declare political donations and funds in the country.
Shahrir also said the donation had nothing to do with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd issue, which had been purportedly linked to the fund in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s account.
“The IRB would be aware of the deposit as donations were not tax-exempt but political donations are tax-exempt although the donors still need to pay tax.” the Johor Baru lawmaker said in a reply to Akmal Saufi Mohamed Khaled on the BNBBC portal.
Akmal is currently Malaysia’s youth parliament’s security, law and integrity committee chairman.
Shahrir said the IRB would have been aware of the donation as the donor would have been taxed while the receiver was exempted.
He added the Finance Ministry did not need to be notified of the donation as it was a donation used for political purposes and not for the government.
Shahrir said as there was no need to disclose political funds, the situation could be altered with new laws that encouraged greater transparency.
However, he said there were currently no such existing laws but supported newer legislation that made the funding more transparent.
The sum recently became an issue when former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claimed the monies had been siphoned into Najib’s personal account from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission however cleared Najib of the allegation, explaining the billions were political funds.