KUALA LUMPUR: Country Heights Holdings Bhd
executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew has paid RM22.707mil to settle the tax liabilities, including penalties, claimed by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) against the company’s unit Country Heights Sdn Bhd (CHSB).
“The settlement is made by Tan Sri Lee as the major shareholder of the company and not his personal liability,” the property developer and hotel owner said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the IRB has withdrawn its winding-up petition against CHSB, which was accordingly struck out by the Shah Alam High Court.
In May, the IRB seized Lee’s fixed deposits placed with a foreign-owned bank amounting to about RM126.0mil.
The total tax liabilities of CHSB for the years of assessment 1997 and 1998 amounted to RM22.5mil.
In its May 9 announcement to the stock exchange, Country Heights said Lee had informed that he was agreeable to allow his fixed deposits seized by the IRB to be used to settle the tax liability, provided that the company acknowledged the sum used to settle the tax liability as an amount due and owing to him and that Country Heights undertook to settle the amount as soon as it had sufficient funds to do so.
Lee further agreed that the sum would be non-interest bearing.
Last December, Lee gave Country Heights an interest-free loan of RM10.76mil to settle the tax liabilities of three of the group’s subsidiaries - Mega Palm Sdn Bhd, Mines Waterfront Business Park Sdn Bhd, and Tindak Murni Sdn Bhd.
With regards to CHSB, however, the company wrote to the Finance Minister to appeal against the IRB’s decision, as its tax liabilities were incurred during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and 1998.