KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has clarified that it did not revoke the tax exemption granted to Yayasan Albukhary.
"The MOF, either through a former finance minister or its officials, has not cancelled the approved tax exemption given to Yayasan Albukhary," it said in a statement on Thursday (March 23).
According to the ministry, Yayasan Albukhary was approved under Subsection 44(6) of the Income Tax Act as a non-profit institution set up for charitable purposes.
It was responding to viral claims that Bagan Member of Parliament and former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had withdrawn the tax-exempt status of Yayasan Albukhary, with the revocation letter signed by MOF officials.
"The MOF views this accusation seriously, and will make a police report on this false claim," it said.
During the prime minister's question time in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim denied allegations that Lim had revoked the foundation's tax-exempt status.
According to Anwar, the MOF's records showed that Lim, who was the finance minister during the Pakatan Harapan government's tenure from 2018 to 2020, did not issue a cancellation of the exemption.
Earlier this month, Perikatan Nasional chairman and former PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin alleged that Lim was responsible for withdrawing tax exemption for Yayasan Albukhary while he helmed the MOF.
Muhyiddin also said he was being charged for abuse of power over his request to the MOF to review the foundation's appeal to restore the tax amnesty.
Muhyiddin has been charged with four counts of abuse of power for using his position as the then PM when his party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, was alleged to have obtained gratification (received) RM232.5 million in bribes from corporate entities.
He also faces two more charges of money laundering, wherein Bersatu allegedly received RM195 million out of the total sum from illegal activities.
He was accused of using his position as the then PM and president of Bersatu to receive RM232.5 million in bribes between March 1, 2020 and Aug 20, 2021, from companies including Bukhary Equity Sdn Bhd, which is 99% owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.