By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Dec 31: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the five per cent sales tax on petroleum-based products meant for the export market.
Dr Sim, who is also Minister of Housing and Local Government, said this tax imposed on those exporting our petroleum-based products and not Sarawakians, would no doubt bring in additional revenue to the state’s coffer.
“The Sarawak government has decided to share the revenue from the five per cent tax by implementing projects beneficial to the welfare of the people. From 2019 onwards, every newborn baby in Sarawak would be entitled to RM1,000. This is the beginning,” he said in his New Year message today.
Dr Sim assured Sarawakians that they could expect to enjoy more welfare benefits in the future.
“Sarawak should enjoy economic autonomy. The Pakatan Harapan-led federal government is called to pay back to Sarawak the 50 per cent tax collected from the state as well as the 20 per cent oil royalty promised as soon as possible,” he stressed.
On the prevailing peace and harmony among the various races in Sarawak, Dr Sim said it is the state’s greatest and privileged heritage.
“We will never allow any quarters to destroy it. Sarawak has established the Unit for other Religions (Unifor) and has allocated RM20 million in 2018 for the development of activities of all religions. The allocation would be increased to RM30 million next year. We hope the allocation can be increased to RM50 million in the future,” he said.
He stressed that the funding for various religions in Sarawak cannot be found in other parts of Malaysia.
“We worry about the actions and speeches expressed by extremists in Malaya. We ought to take precautions to prevent their encroachment into Sarawak. We call on all Sarawakians to stand solidly behind the Sarawak government for the sake of building a better developed and a strong Sarawak,” he said.
Dr Sim added that the state government paid great attention to the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We are anxious to regain the autonomy as enshrined in the MA63, especially those that had been eroded over the years. We feel happy that the Sarawak government keeps an unshakable stand over the privileges of autonomy.
“The government never compromises over any policy or laws detrimental to its autonomy rights. We expect breakthroughs over the issue in 2019,” he opined.
Dr Sim also hoped that 2019 would be an important year for Sarawak.
“The government would continue to strive for the aims of Sarawak first while giving priority to the interests of the people. It would implement projects beneficial to the people as well as looking after their welfare. The aims of the Sarawak government include regaining her autonomy, including the autonomy over education and medical services,” he said. — DayakDaily
Note from Editor: Changes have been made to the article at the request of SUPP.