By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, June 24: All oil and gas players that have registered with the Sarawak government have been paying the 5 per cent sales tax that was imposed effective Jan 1 this year, except one.
In revealing this, Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg said this company, which he did not name, had not only not paid the tax since day one but has been trying to negotiate with the state government to lower the tax.
“We are imposing our sales tax on oil and gas. That is our right. If somebody doesn’t want to pay, that is a crime because it is within our law passed by the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).
“It’s only 5 per cent, not that much. But I must extend my appreciation to the players that have registered with us, and they are paying their 5 per cent. Thank you very much.
“But there is one (company) that is still trying to negotiate. I told them that is our right and they have admitted it is our right. The question is the quantum.
“They want us to review our 5 per cent, but I can tell you, we review, you give us equivalent in terms of revenue,” Abang Johari said at the opening of PricewaterhouseCoopers Associates Sdn Bhd (Pricewaterhouse) Kuching office at Wisma STA here this morning.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also took a swipe at the claim made by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on June 21 that Sarawak would go bankrupt under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)’s rule within three years.
“While we know where do we spend (our money), we must also know where our money comes from. Spending without knowing your income is dangerous. So, I explored how to get revenue, and this revenue is meant to fund the state’s development programmes.
“While we do that, we must know on rainy days, we must protect our savings. So these are the main criteria when we run our economy. Thank god, Sarawak leaders know about this.
“I assure you that Sarawak will not be bankrupt in three years,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state government based its RM11 billion 2019 state budget on the state revenue, which is almost equivalent to that. He also revealed that Sarawak always had a surplus budget.
“There is a limit to politics. Not everything should be politicised. There’s a limit. You must work (politics) based on what you feel should be done for the people.
“And my government is doing that, not too much politicking because we want to upgrade the standard of living while at the same time enhancing our revenue,” he said. — DayakDaily