How much income tax do the 20 richest Malaysians pay?


This is a good question, especially now that the government plans to introduce GST, which will add and spread the tax burden to everyone.

Instead of a regressive tax like the GST, what we need is a progressive tax system that taxes people according to their wealth and uses that money to create a more inclusive social security net for those most vulnerable.

The MP for Kelana Jaya, Wong Chen, wrote the following:

This morning (7 October 2014) Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim asked if the government is willing to disclose how much income tax the top 20 richest persons in Malaysia, collectively pay. He did not ask the Minister to disclose individually how much each of them is paying. He asked for a collective sum.

The Minister Ahmad Maslan later said that he cannot disclose the information because section 138 of the Income Tax Act forbids him to do so.

I have read section 138 and here is my response.

First, there is no provision in section 138 that says that a collective number cannot be disclosed. Income tax is happy to say that it will collect RM140 billion this year from 2.3 million tax payers and 100,000 companies. That’s a collective number. So why can’t they announce a collective number of how much the combined 20 richest persons pay?

Second, section 138(2)(c) actually ALLOWS the Minister unfettered powers to disclose whatever information he sees fit.

So there you have it.

To quote X-files: A Minister can say what he wants but “the truth is still out there”.

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How are things in the “most democratic” country? “Over 2007-2013, total US wealth increased by 26%. The richest 0.01% of US house-holds now owns a record 11.1% of wealth, or $9.1 trillion. The next tier, the 0.1%, has 21.5% while the top 1% has 39.8% of wealth or $32.6 trillion. At least 40% of it is relatively idle; just 0.5% of it could eliminate poverty nationwide. After including their secret wealth in offshore banks based on conservative estimates, the richest 0.01% owns $14.5 trillion, the 0.1% owns $26.4 trillion and the 1% owns $44.5 trillion. In the same period ,… Read more »


The same rich-poor divide is happening & deepening in CosmoKapitan Penang built for the rich & famous. But the state gomen is pretending nothing ugly-economics under the mud of Gurney Drive.
“The fastest route to rich & wealthy & famous is becoming a developer” echoes in the convention halls of property guru talks. More so in a developer-friendly CAT Penang.
It takes only a few days of GE ceramah to talk like the ultimate holy-saviour of Rakyat, but a full term of arrogance, indifference & U-turns with surprises.


From your writings, clearly Penang is not suitable for you. Try Sungai Petani.


So it must be Niau Kong built CosmoKapitan Penang solely for your kind of species?

Go smell the Gurney Drive mudflats!
Or have a Sunday sun tan on Botak Hill! Decency not strictly enforced in private land!

Phua Kai Lit

Don’t forget all the other taxes and fees in Malaysia e.g.
RM50 for a credit card, RM300+ for the 5 year passport.
The latter supposedly to temporarily discourage foreign travel during the late 1990s
Asian financial crisis.

Once introduced, never rescinded.

Don Anamalai

There should be no RM50 charge for first credit card.
But can charge higher for 2nd card and beyond.

6% GST is to high to start with. Bad for retirees with no active income.


GST will hit retirees hard.


I think RM50 for a credit card is reasonable considering the facts that those who apply are earning much more. You have an option not to use it. Moreover previously even without the govt charge of RM50, credit cards company were charging RM80 to RM120 per year. As for the RM300 for 5 year passport, it was introduced in the late 1990 and considering inflation after more than 10 years, at this rate its still reasonable. Don`t you think so.




You said No because you want everything free.


For those who still scratch their head about how GST works, just take the case of rice, whether you are rich or poor you still need to buy right! So for a rich person it would not be a problem at all but for poor family it will make up a much higher % of their take home pay, meaning this GST is totally regressive. Interesting time but do not forget who to vote for come next election.

Don Anamalai

BN still do not tell us exactly what is exempted from GST.
Any chance Najib could tell us at Budget 2015? I doubt so.


Please be clear between “exempt” and “zero rated” items. “Exempt” means the seller cannot charge you GST. If the original price is RM100 and he has incurred RM6 in input tax, he cannot claim back the input tax from the government, so he will sell to you at RM106 with no GST. “Zero rated” means if the original price is RM100 and he has incurred RM6 as input tax, he can sell to you at RM100, no GST as he can claim back the RM6 input tax from the government. So basic items should be “zero rated” and not “exempt”… Read more »


Kastam folks are easily confused, as (a few of them) can wear underwear on their head!


The MP for Kelana Jaya, Wong Chen said he has read Section 138 and that there is no provision in section 138 that says that a collective number cannot be disclosed.

Can he please show us details of Section 138 because we don`t believe in his interpretation as his and PR words are always twisted.


BN really likes blind supporters like you. Use your brain, can or not? Or are you lazy as pointed out by Dr M?


Section 138. Certain material to be treated as confidential. (1) Subject to this section, every classified person shall regard and deal with classified material as confidential; and, if he is an official, he shall make and subscribe before the prescribed authority a declaration in the prescribed form that he will do so. (2) No classified material shall be produced or used in court or otherwise except- (a) for the purposes of this Act or another tax law; (b) in order to institute or assist in the course of a prosecution for any offence committed in relation to tax or in… Read more »


Stupid rebuttal from you. I don`t listen to you, Dr M or anybody else especially DAP Anwar and CAT except what is written in the law because they are all liars. Have you read Section 138. You know nuts about it and you come marching in like an idiot. At least I am asking Wong Chen to show me. Read GT Chye. In in doubt or if you do not believe GT Chye version check again.


Nil, This is a typical type of answer you can expect from an Umno dorky, they either do not in the first place comprehend the question asked, which is to be expected. May be that is why the nation’s budget is in deficit and even worse near bankruptcy ! As I said before this is only the beginning and more taxes will be implemented or more subsidies cut or reduced, the nation is desperate, very desperate. Countries that are producing oil, like Saudi Arabia or Brunei, fuel is cheaper than Malaysia why, they don’t have this easy way to collect… Read more »


There is no provision in the law that allowed the govt to disclose income tax of individual or companies. Income tax of individual are confidential and personal matters and the govt has no right to disclose them. Anyway nobody like their income tax to be disclosed. As for listed company whoever want to know can easily get it from Bursa and many sources as they are required to disclose to its shareholders under listing rules. Anyway the income department have already disclosed the total amount. The opposition Pakatan PKR Anwar and Chen are just trying to cari pasal because either… Read more »


Read properly. “He did not ask the Minister to disclose individually how much each of them is paying. He asked for a collective sum.”


They could not understand English?


apologies my mistake but then I am also trying to explain the confidentiality of our income tax


Take from left hand pocket to put into right hand pocket. BR1M n GST are twins to appease the ignorant.


BR1M recipients who have never pay income tax will now pay GST. Hidup BN!

Ed G

The GST has both its good and bad sides. The bad side is that it burdens the poor and under privileged with extra indirect taxation whenever they purchase some of their basic necessities. The good side is that those who are under-taxed due to under-declaration of income would have to pay their taxes if they wish to transform their income into their needs or wants. Therefore, many of those who are living in luxury but pays only a token amount of taxation would have to make their contributions to the government’s coffer. Hence, even money obtained via illegal means which… Read more »


Interestingly it was reported that BN ‘ovepaid’ BR1M as much as RM490 million!