Why the Tax Authority Didn't Investigate Najib's Accounts?

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again trained his guns on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's wealth.

Despite having spent 29 years in government, the former prime minister said he could not match the extravagant lifestyle of his protege-turned-nemesis.

"He (Najib) is paid the prime minister's salary, which I know is far smaller than what business executives get.

"But the government pays allowances, the electricity and water bills, transportation, home, and so forth, so the salary can all be saved and spent.

"But still, the lavish lifestyle must cost a packet. It must be more than what I saved after 29 years in the government," Mahathir said in a blog posting today.

His latest salvo comes amid allegations that US$700 million of 1MDB funds were channelled into Najib's private bank accounts.

He added that Najib's wealth was of course a secret but asked whether the authorities had probed into this.

"I just want to ask, has the income tax people investigated the source of the money and the tax paid," he said.

The former prime minister lamented that there was selectivity with regard to the tax authority.

Everyone should be investigated

Mahathir pointed out when he was previously sacked from Umno, the taxmen had swooped on him but several prominent individuals spending lavishly today do not get similar scrutiny.

"We talk about equality before the law. In this country even the rulers are subject to certain laws. It is the essence of justice.

"Everyone who should be investigated by government agencies must be investigated. There should be no discrimination," he said.

The New York Times had in February highlighted Najib's family wealth, including their jet-setting ways and the prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor’s penchant for luxury goods.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) raised eyebrows when it attributed Najib's wealth to family inheritance.

This prompted Najib's brothers to issue a statement, stressing that their father Abdul Razak Hussein lived a frugal life when he was prime minister and any suggestions otherwise tainted his memory.

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