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Wee pretending to be stupid over tax laws, says Guan Eng

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Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said MCA president Wee Ka Siong should not pretend not to know that paying taxes does not legitimise unlawful money.

"Wee should stop pretending to be stupid, by saying that Koperasi Jayadiri Sdn Bhd (Kojadi) paying taxes last year to the IRB proves that the RM15 million Kojadi received from Yayasan 1MDB was legal.

"No self-respecting democratic country in the world would allow you to whitewash laundered funds or sanctify illegal money as legitimate, merely because you paid taxes on those laundered or illegal money," he said in a statement today.

Lim said paying taxes only complies with tax laws but it does not absolve corrupted entities from criminal wrongdoing.

"If (it was) so, then Jho Low and Najib Abdul Razak can easily pay their taxes and not fear criminal prosecution," said Lim.

Lim was referring to Wee's insistence that money that the RM15 million Kojadi received from Yayasan 1MDB was kosher since RM1.03 million was paid in taxes. 

Kojadi chairperson Ng Peng Hay had attempted to approach the MACC with the intention of restituting the money, but he has since been suspended from duties.

Lim accused Wee of dishonesty for not owning up to the fact that MACC had frozen Kojadi's accounts pending a civil forfeiture suit to have the money restituted.

"If Kojadi was not required to return money to Yayasan 1MDB, then why was the relevant Kojadi’s bank account frozen by MACC?

"That is why I believed Ng over Wee, even though Ng was a former MCA lawmaker, because Ng rightfully wanted to return the money to Yayasan 1MDB and was punished for wanting to do so, by being suspended by the MCA-controlled Kojadi board of directors," he added.

Kojadi is a micro-credit scheme operated by MCA. It was among the 41 entities which the MACC are pursuing for allegedly receiving illicit funds derived from 1MDB. 

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