Awang Tengah slams Petronas’ non-compliance over state sales tax

Awang Tengah (second left) presenting the Gunung Lesong National Park and Gunung Buda National Park management plans to Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources permanent secretary Datu Zaidi Mahli (second right) witnessed by (from left) former senior assistant director of forest Datu Penguang Manggil, current director of forest Datu Hamden Mohammad and former director of forest Datu Len Talif Salleh.

by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Nov 20: Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hasan has categorised Petronas’s continued non-compliance with Sarawak’s laws as unwise.

Asserting that Petronas is obliged to pay the sales tax under the State Sales Tax Ordinance 1998, Awang Tengah said, said others including foreign oil companies such as Shell and Murphy followed the law accordingly and have paid their dues.

“If Petronas can duly comply with the laws in other countries, why can’t they do the same thing when operating in Sarawak?” he told reporters, after the launch of “Forest Talk — The Journey of 100 Years”, today.

Awang Tengah was asked to comment on a report by a news portal recently, of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali revealing that Petronas had offered a 3 per cent goodwill payment to Sarawak over its petroleum products.

However, according to Sharifah Hasidah, the offer was on condition that the state government drop the sales tax claim and the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO58).

“This is not acceptable because Petronas has to pay the five per cent sales tax. The Sarawak government remains committed to imposing the State Sales Tax on petroleum products exported from Sarawak as this is the right enshrined in the Sarawak Constitution,” Sharifah Hasidah was quoted as saying, adding that in response to the offer, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had sent a letter to the federal government stating the state government’s firm stance on the matter. — DayakDaily