KUALA LUMPUR: An MCA leader is irked with MPs for not knowing about Parliament’s recently approved amendment to the Income Tax Act 1967 that apparently makes some types of donations received by non-Muslim religious bodies taxable.
MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker said MPs from the BN and opposition are supposed to be the “guardians” of the people in the Dewan Rakyat.
He added they should be alert and have knowledge of the bills passed in the Dewan Rakyat.
Due to that, they should be taken to task for their dereliction of duties, he added.
“There should be no excuses for both the backbenchers or opposition MPs. They should be answerable for not knowing about this bill,” he told FMT.
He said the opposition had been fighting for checks and balances but clearly “they did not do that”.
He added MPs had sworn to uphold the Constitution and had an extra responsibility to protect and safeguard public interests, in particular the interests of the minorities.
Earlier, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok confessed she was not aware of the amendment passed by Parliament on Nov 23 and the Senate on Dec 15.
Kok admitted the parliamentary sessions were long and nobody looked at the Income Tax Bill.
She added usually, Prime Minister Najb Razak would announce such a step in his budget speech.
The Borneo Post quoted a tax consultant as saying the amendment meant that income not exclusively for religious worship or advancement of religion would be subject to income tax with effect from assessment year 2017.
The accountant told the daily that before the amendment, all types of income, including dividends, were tax exempted. After the amendments, he said income that was not for charitable purposes would be taxable. -FMT