Masing: Petronas’ reluctance to pay its due is an embarrassment

Tan Sri James Masing

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KUCHING, NOV 4: As an international company, Petronas’ reluctance to pay the five per cent Sales Tax on petroleum and its products is an embarrassment, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

He said Petronas should take the lead to pay the five per cent Sales Tax it owes Sarawak as it is the anchor company which extracts oil and gas in the Sarawak.

“I’m very disappointed with Petronas for its failure to pay us the five per cent sales tax. It is an international company. Therefore, they should take the lead to pay use its constitutional obligation. Shell and Murphy already paid their obligation.

“Petronas’ reluctance to pay its due is an embarrassment for an international company. I hope they will do so before Sarawak takes legal action to claim what is ours,” Masing said in a statement today.

On the Sarawak Budget 2020 tabled by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today, Masing lauded it as 63 per cent of development budget is for rural areas, especially allocated to improve the basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water and electricity supplies.

“Out of RM9.891 billion budget, RM6.5billion is for development, while RM3.29 billion is for operating. It’s a development budget of 67 per cent against 33 per cent for operating. This showed that the Sarawak Government’s main focus on the development of infrastructure.

“For without infrastructure development, no other development can take place in Sarawak. So this shows that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has its focus right.

“My ministry is grateful to Sarawak government for its continual focus on infrastructure development. This is a development centric budget with rural areas as its main focus,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development.

Masing who is also PRS president took the opportunity to take a swipe at Pakatan Harapan (PH) for its inability to fulfil its promise made in the 14th general election (GE14).

“GPS would have used its funding for more development if PH government didn’t withdraw its promises after GE14. Now GPS government have to use its own fund to supplement what PH government failed to fulfil.

“PH government is duty-bound to fulfil what it promised before GE14,” he said.

Masing reiterated that even though the PH government is a new administration, it was obliged to continue the responsibility of what its predecessor had promised.

“The PH government cannot say they didn’t made those promises, therefore, they aren’t duty-bound to implement those promises. Any democratically-formed government will not allow itself to make such weak excuses of not carrying out what their predecessor had promised,” said Masing. — DayakDaily