By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Aug 4: Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak (Aspirasi) holds that Sarawak government should impose 30 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) for Sarawak’s petroleum and petroleum products, not five per cent.
To its president Lina Soo, five per cent SST is considered too little.
“It is a good that now Petronas under a change of Prime Minister and Finance Minister agree to respect the authority of Sarawak legislation and powers.
“I still think five per cent sales tax on Sarawak petroleum is still too little as the federal government collects 38 to 45 per cent petroleum tax (PITA).
“Sarawak should up the tax (SST) to 30 per cent which is still below what Petronas pays to Federal on PITA,” Soo told DayakDaily today.
Soo claimed that Sarawakians wanted to know what are the terms and conditions attached to the withdrawal of Petronas versus Sarawak government case.
“Sarawakians also want to know what are any terms and conditions attached to the withdrawal of the case? Sarawakians have the right to know the facts on all negotiations between Sarawak and Petronas.
“Sarawakians also want to know the status of negotiations between Sarawak government and federal government,” said Soo.
She opined that negotiations between the Sarawak government, the oil company and the federal government have not been transparent.
“The talks are all shrouded in secrecy. It cannot just be at the convenience of the governments to hide behind the Official Secrets Act and keep Sarawakians in the dark.
“If that is the case, why bother to form endless committees and subcommittees and then hide the reports, if any?” Soo questioned.
Petronas had withdrawn its appeal over its failed judicial review application over the payment of RM2 billion in SST on petroleum at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya yesterday (Aug 3, 2020).
The Sarawak government in response had also withdrawn its cross appeal over the jurisdiction issue of the High Court.
Following the development, Sarawak de facto Law Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the Sarawak government is now expecting payment of RM2 billion.
She said the outcome of the case indicated Petronas’ acknowledgement and recognition of Sarawak’s constitutional right to impose SST on its crude petroleum products.— DayakDaily