KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 – The power to make tax exemptions lies under the jurisdiction of the Director General, Inland Revenue Board (IRB), and not the Prime Minister or ministers. The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said, the authority applies under Subsection 44(6) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (Act 53). Indeed the power of exemption according to Subsection 44(6), is not the power of the minister or the Prime Minister, it is the absolute power of the IRB Director General.

The Prime Minister answered a supplementary question from Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) regarding the alleged cancellation of tax exemptions for the Albukhary Foundation, where the authority in his view lies under the IRB. However, Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, refused to give further details because the investigation is still being conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the courts.

The Tambun Member of Parliament added that the approach taken by the Unity Government was different, including asking large companies to channel profits to the people, and not political parties. I chose to call Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar, to give assurance and support to big projects that benefit the country, and for the benefit of poor rice farmers. (The government) asked him to donate RM60 million to rice farmers and 30 percent of the profits recorded over 20 years (Padiberas Nasional Bhd).

This is the first time a net profit has been given to the rice farmers, and there are different approaches. One can be handed over to the party, the other can be handed over to the rice farmers. I choose to hand it over to the rice farmers,” said the Prime Minister. Before that, the Prime Minister when answering Kee Chin’s question denied the accusation that the former Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng canceled the tax exemption given to the Albukhary Foundation.

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