‘Dr Vida’ charged with evad­ing RM4.2m GST

> Cos­met­ics queen pleads not guilty to 32 counts un­der two of­fences

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY P. CHANDRA SAGARAN

IPOH: Busi­ness­woman Datuk Seri Has­miza Oth­man, bet­ter known as “Dr Vida” in the busi­ness cir­cle for her beauty and health­care prod­ucts, pleaded not guilty at the ses­sions court here yes­ter­day to 16 counts of fail­ing to make pay­ments for Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) to­talling RM4.2 mil­lion.

She also pleaded not guilty to an­other 16 counts of fail­ing to sub­mit GST state­ments to the Royal Malaysian Cus­toms Depart­ment.

For the first 16 charges, she al­legedly failed to pay GST for the pe­riod April 2015 to July this year, which is an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 41 (7) of the GST Act 2014.

On the sec­ond 16 charges, she al­legedly failed to sub­mit GST state­ments for the same pe­riod, an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 41 (6) of the same Act.

Has­miza ,from Meru Hill, al­legedly com­mit­ted both of­fences at the GST divi­sion of Wisma Kas­tam in Jalan Tun Ab­dul Razak here.

Judge Mur­tazadi Am­ran set bail at RM60,000 for each of the first 16 charges and RM50,000 for each of the sec­ond 16 charges. Has­miza’s bail, to­talling RM1.76 mil­lion, was set with one surety each.

The judge also or­dered her pass­port to be sur­ren­dered to the court.

Ear­lier, Mur­tazadi said: “Af­ter hear­ing rea­sons from both sides, I can­not im­pose a high bail, and if she fails to raise the amount, it will af­fect the ac­cused’s fam­ily and busi­ness out­lets which em­ploy 200 work­ers. At the same time, a lower bail will not be ap­pro­pri­ate given the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fences.”

The charges un­der Sec­tion 41(7) and Sec­tion 41(6) of the GST Act 2014 pro­vides for a max­i­mum fine of RM50,000 or three years’ im­pris­on­ment, or both, upon con­vic­tion.

Deputy pub­lic pros­e­cu­tors Farah Ezlin Yu­sop Khan and Datuk Raja Rozela Raja To­ran from the Cus­toms Depart­ment led the pros­e­cu­tion, while the ac­cused was rep­re­sented by Khair­i­lazwar Khalil and Syed Ah­mad Syed Abas.

Farah Ezlin had ear­lier urged the court to im­pose RM100,000 bail for each of the 32 charges.

The court fixed Nov 15 for men­tion.

Has­miza at the Ipoh ses­sions court yes­ter­day.

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