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KUCHING, Nov 13: The federal government should just kick Sarawak out of the federation if they are unhappy with the state government’s move to impose a 5 per cent sales tax on petroleum based products, said Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) spokesperson Chan Chee Hiong.
In a press statement today, he claimed that over the past 55 years, the federal government has seized 95 per cent of Sarawak’s resources and that with the 20 per cent of oil royalty promised by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government nowhere in sight, the present government is further suppressing Sarawakians by saying that the people will bear the brunt of the said 5 per cent sales tax.
“These has obviously revealed the true intentions of the new federal government and if they do not love Sarawak anymore, it is better to kick out Sarawak from Federation of Malaysia,” he said, adding if the federal government is very dissatisfied or extremely burdened by Sarawak’s move to raise taxes, they can always repeat how they treated Singapore in 1965 by kicking out Sarawak from the federation.
Chan also lamented the lack of response from the public in support of the state government’s move to impose the 5 per cent sales tax during the November 11 rally to support the move, organised by S4S.
“We originally thought that the response for the demonstration would be good. But after taking in the views from some people, it was found out that they are not interested in the 5 per cent tax imposed on these petroleum products. They suggested that the Sarawak government should increase this tax to 50 per cent instead of just a little at 5 per cent.”
Chan also alleged that the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) was attempting to mislead the public by saying that this sales tax would aggravate the burden of people of Sarawak and the party had cited tax imposed on four-digit lottery tickets system as an example.
“This means it is like saying the people of Sarawak will pay RM2.31 on gasoline per litre after 5 per cent sales tax instead of RM2.20 when they come to refuel on January 1. Please do not simply make a conclusion on how this increase will become the burden for the people of Sarawak. Do not use the buying of four-digit lottery as an example on tax revenue collected.
“From the accounting perspective, Sarawak’s population is only 9 per cent of the total Malaysian population. If Petronas increases the burden on the people because of the increased cost and profit, it will be paid by the people of Malaysia, that is, 91 per cent represented by the people of the Sabah and Malaya who will pay for the development of Sarawak,” said Chan.
He went on to suggest that this being the case, the state government should increase the sales tax to 50 per cent or higher as it would save the state’s money and return more money from the federal coffers to the state for development. — DayakDaily