Pending rep submits DUN motion to ask state govt to take Petronas to court

Violet Yong

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KUCHING, Oct 28: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has submitted a motion to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to ask the state government to take legal action against Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) over the non-payment of the sales tax on petroleum products which came into effect this year.

Speaking to reporters at a Deepavali gathering today, Yong said the motion was faxed to the DUN office at 10.37am and hand-delivered to its Secretary last Friday (Oct 25).

The next DUN sitting is scheduled to commence on Nov 4.

Hoping that the DUN speaker will allow the motion to be heard, debated and then passed, Yong said the motion will consider the legality of the state government’s move to impose the five per cent state sales tax on petroleum products.

“The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government has been screaming loudly all this time that if Petronas does not pay the sales tax by Oct 31 this year, the Sarawak government will take legal action against Petronas. If these leaders are claiming that Sarawak has the rights on the sales tax, then take it to court. Don’t just say like ‘lip service’ but no action is being taken.

“The DUN should resolve that the Sarawak government refer the matter to the Court of Law on the legitimacy of the Sarawak government’s claim on the sales tax,” she said.

She added that the legality of the Sarawak government imposing the tax is a matter of legal interpretation of the Federal Constitution.

Supporting Yong’s motion, Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said: “Past Sarawak government leaders were the ones who surrendered the rights in Parliament in 1974. One MP from Sarawak tabled the Bill to enact the Petroleum Development Act (PDA).

“So whether the Sarawak government has the right now to claim the said tax, can only be settled in court.

“Please be frank with the people of Sarawak. You know the rights were signed off, and now you want to claim it and said you have the legal rights,” Chong said. — DayakDaily