Wednesday 07 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28): Senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah failed to obtain a stay of proceedings in the suit against him by the Malaysian Government through the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), for failing to pay income tax arrears amounting to RM9.41 million.

In the High Court here on Wednesday (Sept 28), Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain dismissed Muhammad Shafee’s application with costs. 

Shafee’s counsel, Datuk Seri Rajan Navaratnam, confirmed this when contacted by The Edge on Wednesday.

“The court dismissed the stay of proceedings application on the basis that there are no special circumstances,” he said.

Muhammad Farhan Shafee assisted Rajan in representing Shafee, while Wee Yeong Kang acted as his solicitor. The IRB was represented by Norhisham Ahmad, Al-Hummidallah Idrus, and Muhammad Faqrol Syazreen Mohd Ghause.

Farhan told The Edge that the court has fixed Oct 6 for case management to set a hearing date for the suit.

Shafee had filed the application seeking a stay of proceedings in the IRB’s suit against him, pending the disposal of his appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax Malaysia.

The application filed last year sought, among others, an order for the proceedings to be temporarily suspended, pending the outcome of applications filed before the Federal Court by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his son Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Najib, regarding the payment of income tax amounting to RM1.69 billion and RM37.6 million respectively to the IRB.

Shafee said that the outcome of the appeals by Najib and Nazifuddin could affect the suit against him.

The IRB applied for its suit against Shafee on May 6, 2021, on the grounds that the defendant had failed to pay his income tax arrears amounting to RM9.41 million within the stipulated time.

The Malaysian Government, through the IRB, filed the suit against Shafee for allegedly not paying taxes amounting to RM9.41 million for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Meanwhile, Shafee is also facing two charges of money laundering of RM9.5 million, which are proceeds from unlawful activities in connection with Najib, and two alternative charges of making inaccurate declarations to the IRB. 

The senior lawyer will know on Oct 28 whether he will be ordered to enter his defence or be acquitted with regards to those charges, after judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin set that date following closing submissions from Shafee’s lawyer and the prosecution.

Edited ByAniza Damis
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