Nov 30, 2006

80% of taxpayers for Malaysia were Chinese?

Kit Siang’s taxpayer figure causes uproar

(The Star) OPPOSITION Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP – Ipoh Timur) struck a raw nerve among backbenchers in the Dewan when he claimed that 80% of taxpayers in the country were Chinese.

Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad (BN – Ketereh) lashed out at Lim and called him a liar.

Mohd Alwi stood up just before the debate session started and called for Lim to be referred to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee for misleading the House on Tuesday.

He said Lim had malicious and seditious intentions when making the statement.

“I’ve checked with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and they said they have never calculated the contributions of income tax by race,” Mohd Alwi said.

Lim then stood up and defended himself: “If you said that I was lying, that means Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) is a liar. I obtained the figures from Tun in one of his speeches.”

Amidst shouts from MPs from both sides, Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng rejected the motion, saying that the Standing Order required an MP to raise the issue when misleading statements were uttered and not a day after.

When met at the lobby later, Mohd Alwi said he had called up IRB to check and there was no such figure.

“Saying that 80% of the income tax come from the Chinese community will give the Malays the impression that the Chinese are monopolising the wealth in the country,” he said.

Lim said he took the figures from a speech Tun Dr Mahathir made earlier this year.

“If the 80% figure is wrong, then what is the actual figure?” he asked.

“(Mohd Alwi) should check with the Government for the real figure.”

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