By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Dec 9: National oil corporation Petronas’s decision to challenge Sarawak’s right to impose 5 per cent sales tax on oil and petroleum products is arrogant and shows its lack of respect for Sarawak and its people, opined former Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy info chief Datuk Peter Minos.
“Petronas appears to be a very arrogant oil giant. It does not seem to give any respect to Sarawak and its people. Petronas has forgotten that it has made billions out of Sarawak’s very own resources. Petronas has made excuse after excuse for not wanting to pay or help Sarawak. Those excuses were at times very hard and impossible to accept,” Minos told DayakDaily today.
Minos, who is a qualified lawyer, believed that Sarawak can win the legal battle against Petronas over the state’s right to impose the 5 per cent sales tax.
“If Sarawak wins the legal contest, and most likely it will, it will be very good as it means extra income for Sarawak’s socioeconomic development. And if Sarawak loses, and not likely so if the laws are properly read and interpreted, Sarawak can still be seen as “victorious” because Sarawakians will see that the Sarawak government and Chief Minister as standing firm in their fight for Sarawak’s rights and interests.
“Also, Sarawakians will see and perceive that the Sarawak government does not want to be bullied and badly treated anymore, as in enough is enough. It is very good that Sarawak has made a firm stand,” he added.
Minos reiterated that since the formation of Malaysia, Sarawak has absorbed many hard knocks, hits and pain from the federal side.
“Up till now, Sarawak has taken them all with a smile and little complaint. Now, no more. No more of Sarawak’s wealth and resources taken away only for the peninsula to grow n grow and prosper while Sarawak is still very much lagging behind in all aspects. What is unfair and inequitable must be righted. All the bad things done to Sarawak must be corrected. Now the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is doing the correction and rectification. This is very good for Sarawak,” he added.
On the timing of the Sarawak state election, Minos, who is also the chairman of the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council predicted that it would be held sometime next year.
“The drums were loudly beaten at the recent GPS Convention on Nov 16 at BCCK (Borneo Convention Centre Kuching) where over 5,000 GPS members from all over Sarawak converged and showed openly their readiness for the electoral war,” he asserted.
However, he stressed that to call for the election, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg must feel ready and be fully prepared for it.
“Secondly, the people especially the voters must also be ready and in the right mood for the polls. And thirdly, what happens to PH (Pakatan Harapan) especially PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and DAP (Democratic Action Party) will influence the timing of Sarawak’s next election.
“So, it will not be that simple. CM Abang Johari has to really think, consider and evaluate a lot of things before he makes up his mind,” added Minos.
Meanwhile, Minos described the RM500 one-off bonus for federal government servants in Sarawak as a welcome gesture from the GPS government.
“To me, it is just a Sarawak’s way to say “thank you” to each and every federal officer serving Sarawak. It is Sarawak’s culture of appreciation and gratitude. Natural and with good intention,” he added. — DayakDaily