Tuesday 24 July 2012

Donald Lim: Capital outflow study just 'for reference'

Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim has dismissed the finding of Tax Justice Network that Malaysia is among the top 20 countries in the world with the highest capital flight to tax havens from 1970 to 2010.

"Foreign media or institutions have the freedom and right to present and publish their reports. We can't stop them. These are just for reference," Chinese daily Oriental Daily News today quoted Lim as saying.

According to the report, Lim said the Treasury and Bank Negara have been closely monitoring the inflow and outflow of capital.

The reports by foreign research institutions are just their views and may not be correct, the senator said.

Bank Negara, according to Lim, has a rigorous mechanism and monitoring system for it to collect the relevant statistics.

"We are a free and open economy with high trade with foreign countries. We are also one of the major trading nations in the world."

Lim was responding to the report by London-based Tax Justice Network's researcher James Henry that an estimated US$283 billion (RM892 billion) has been transferred out of Malaysia to tax havens from 1970 to 2010.

In comparison, the amount is three-and-a-half times more than Malaysia's foreign debt of RM257.2 billion in 2011 and is second to Nigeria's US$306 billion (RM964 billion).

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