warrant for Tang
by a Special correspondent.
SINGAPORE Window has learnt that the secretary of Mr Tang Liang Hong was questioned for 12 hours recently by the republic's tax department (IRAS).
News that Mr Tang was to be charged for tax evasion was first reported by the South China Morning Post Thursday (May 22).
The Straits Times reported Saturday (May 24) that a warrant of arrest was issued against Mr Tang Liang Hong by a Singapore subordinate court Friday evening after he was charged with 33 counts of evading tax on income totalling $210,982.
In Mr Tang's case District Judge Mrs Brenda Tan also rejected an application by his lawyer, Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam, to adjourn the case to give his client time to answer queries on his tax returns over a period of eight years.
She also confirmed that the Iras could apply to the court for an ex-parte hearing to try the accused in absentia. If the application is successful and Mr Tang is convicted, it will be up to the court to sentence him.
The punishment for each offence is a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to S$10,000. The additional penalty for each offence is three times the amount of taxes evaded.
The judge also set bail amounting to S$5,000 for each of the 33 charges against Mr Tang, a senior lawyer before he went into self imposed exile from Singapore after the January General Election.
In a faxed statement from Hong Kong to the Straits Times earlier this week Mr Tang accused the Singapore government of using the their tax department to eliminate him from the political scene in the republic.
This is reminicent of a similar situation in 1988 when former solicitor general Mr Francis Seow was charged with income tax evasion within days of his release from detention under the Singapore's controversial Internal Security Act.
The Singapore tax department has admitted that since the middle of last year, it had been monitoring Mr Tang's tax affairs after receiving all his back years' returns.