IRB seizes Lee Kim Yew’s fixed deposits in foreign bank

PETALING JAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has seized Country Heights Holdings Bhd’s (CHHB) executive chairman and major shareholder Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew’s fixed deposits placed with a foreign-owned bank amounting to RM126mil.  

Lee understood that it was in relation to a tax liability of CHHB’s wholly owned subsidiary, Country Heights Sdn Bhd (CHSB).   

CHHB said that the total tax liabilities of CHSB for the years of assessment 1997 and 1998 amounted to RM22.5mil.   

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, CHHB said it received notification of this matter from Lee in a letter dated May 8. 

This is the latest in the case of companies being forced to sell assets in order to pay tax bills.  

On Monday, MK Land Holdings Bhd also disposed of a parcel of leasehold land in Kamunting, Perak, for RM72mil.   

Among others, the disposal consideration would be utilised for working capital, corporate tax, real property gains tax and estimated incidental expenses amounting to RM47mil.    

Recall that on April 17, CHSB had been served with a winding up petition initiated by the Government in relation to a judgment sum of RM22.71mil.   

This amount was for a claim in relation to CHSB’s purported tax obligations, along with interest on the said sum at the rate of 5% per annum from Dec 28, 2016 and costs of RM2,500.  

In Tuesday's Bursa filing, Lee further informed that he has requested a confirmation from the IRB of the seizure and whether the seized funds have been, or would be applied to settle the tax liability. The IRB has yet to respond.  

Despite the absence of acknowledgement from the IRB, Lee has informed Bursa that he is agreeable to allow his fixed deposits seized by the IRB to be used to settle the tax liability.  

This is provided that the company acknowledges the sum used to settle the tax liability as an amount due and owing to Lee, and that the company undertakes to settle the amount as soon as the company has sufficient funds to do so.   

Lee has further agreed that the sum would be non-interest bearing.  

The board of CHHB has met Tuesday and, after due consideration, agreed to the above settlement.


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