IRB: We never revealed raids on companies of Mahathir’s sons

(FMT) – The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) today denied that it had revealed information on investigations into the sons of Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, pointing out that it had been people connected to the family that had divulged news on the raids.

Its chief executive officer Sabin Samitah said the IRB had never made any announcement that it was investigating either Mahathir or his sons.

He said the IRB was bound by law and could not disclose any information on the taxpayers it was investigating unless the matter had proceeded to a court case.

“The news was not from us, they are the ones that broke the news, not the IRB,” he told reporters in a press conference at the IRB headquarters in Cyberjaya today.

When questioned, he also denied that the investigations were politically motivated.

“No, there was no political interference,” he said.

“How am I supposed to justify it if my officers simply go and raid any company that has no tax issues?”

According to Sabin, any investigation or audit conducted by the IRB on an individual or company is based on detailed risk analysis. Otherwise, he said, the IRB could face lawsuits.

He said all three of Mahathir’s sons, Mokhzani Mahathir, Mirzan Mahathir and Mukhriz Mahathir, had been investigated as audits and probes are not conducted on one company or directer only.

“Nowadays, when we do our audits and investigations, we will investigate the whole group,” he said.

This year, he said, the IRB was carrying out a more aggressive compliance programme in order to be fair to all taxpayers.

If individuals or companies did not pay the correct amount of taxes, the IRB would “go after this group of people”, he said, regardless of who the person was or the size of the company.

“If based on our analysis, they have not paid their taxes or have debts with us, then we will investigate them.”

On Aug 8, the IRB had conducted raids on Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd, Opcom Holdings Berhad and Crescent Capital Sdn Bhd, the companies of Mahathir’s three sons.

Mokhzani is listed as Opcom’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Mukhriz, on the other hand, is mentioned as a “major shareholder of the company”.

Meanwhile, Mahathir’s eldest son Mirzan, who holds an MBA from top business school Wharton, is listed as CEO of Crescent Capital, which is an investment holding and financial advisory company.

Following the raids, Mahathir said the prime minister and his family should be subject to raids as well.

“I think we should do this raiding more often and we should also subject Najib (Razak), his family, his wife, his son and his son-in-law to raids,” he had said.