KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was ordered by the High Court here on Thursday (Dec 21) to pay over RM5.5mil in income tax arrears to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain issued the order after Senior Revenue Counsel Norhisham Ahmad informed the court of the final amount to be paid by Muhammad Shafee, which is RM5,529,577.70.
“We are also asking for costs of RM10,000,” said Norhisham, who was assisted by Senior Revenue Counsel Muhammad Faqrol Syazreen Mohd Ghause.
However, lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, representing his father, requested RM5,000 in costs.
Roz Mawar set costs at RM10,000, saying that the amount was reasonable.
Muhammad Farhan then told the court that he would seek instructions from his client on whether to appeal against the decision.
On Dec 15, the same court allowed LHDN’s application for a summary judgment against the veteran lawyer.
(A summary judgment is obtained when the court decides on a case through written submissions without a full trial and calling witnesses.) On Sept 28, 2021, the LHDN requested that its suit against Muhammad Shafee, which was filed on May 6 of the same year, be decided by summary judgment due to the defendant’s failure to pay income tax arrears amounting to RM9,414,708.32.
The IRB claimed that the lawyer failed to pay the amount, including the increase in the amount, for the Assessment Years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
On Oct 28, 2022, Muhammad Shafee was acquitted and discharged on two counts of receiving proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM9.5mil from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and two charges of making incorrect statements to the LHDN.
The prosecution initially appealed against the court’s decision, but withdrew it on Dec 5. This resulted in the acquittal of Muhammad Shafee in all four cases.