Pending rep repeats call for state govt to bring Petronas to court over sales tax non-payment

Violet Yong

KUCHING, Nov 4: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak is urging the Sarawak government to take legal action against Petronas for its refusal to pay the five per cent sales tax on petroleum and petroleum products based on the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

According to assemblywoman Violet Yong (DAP-Pending), she has submitted a Private Member’s Motion to call on the Sarawak Legislative Asssembly (DUN) to resolve that the matter to be referred to court.

“I hope that with my motion, we can have the final push to let the state government have a clear stand, a loud and clear voice, that we Sarawakians want the matter to be taken to court and determined through the process of court,” said Yong in a press conference on the sidelines of the DUN sitting today.

Yong submitted the motion on Oct 25, and expects it to be accepted and debated tomorrow.

“I hope with a clear stand given by the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg), my motion will be allowed for debate because we want to make sure that all our supporting votes are reported in this DUN.

“Because we are Sarawakians, we are just getting back what is supposed to belong to us, if it is supposed to be given to us. The only thing is to expedite the matter to make sure that it will come to an end, (and that) is to bring Petronas to court rather than allowing the chief minister to keep shifting the goal post.”

She noted that today is Nov 4 which is four days well past the Oct 31 deadline set by the Sarawak government for Petronas to pay the five per cent sales tax.

“In 2019, our state budget had taken into account the five per cent sales tax on all petroleum products. Petronas has yet to pay up the portion of their sales tax and that has a significant impact on our state’s balance sheet and that is a serious matter.”

Yong said if the law is on Sarawak’s side as the government has claimed, a legal course of action must be pursued to claim back the monies due to Sarawak.

“In order to make the final decision to determine the issue, we have to bring the matter to court, for the court to interpret the law.

“And I have confidence in our State Legal Council and their team and the state AG (Attorney-General) and I believe that with their knowledge and experience, Sarawak is able to make it in court,” said Yong. — DayakDaily