‘Petronas drags its feet to resolve payment’, says Ting on lawsuit

Datuk Sebastian Ting

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MIRI, Nov 22: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting said Petronas took too long to resolve the sales tax payment issue, dragging their feet with no apparent reason.

Therefore, it is fair that the Sarawak government filed a lawsuit against the national oil company to recover its sales tax on petroleum products.

“SUPP agrees and supports the decision of the Sarawak government to commence a case against Petronas by filing a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim against Petronas in the High Court Registry in Kuching.

“We are already in November 2019 and the said five per cent state sales tax imposed on petroleum products since Jan 1, this year, remained unpaid by Petronas,” he said in a statement.

Ting, who is also Piasau assemblyman, added that for the record, all other oil companies operating in Sarawak had duly paid their sales tax to the Sarawak government.

“These companies are being responsible, recognises and follow the law of Sarawak without the need to issue further notices or reminders.

“It is understood that despite repeated notices and numerous reminders, Petronas refuses to pay the sales tax. The conduct of Petronas is seen or perceived by the ordinary people of Sarawak as arrogant and unreasonable,” he continued.

Ting reminded that oil companies, including Petronas, operating around the world are required, without exception, to comply with the local laws in those countries.

“Likewise, Petronas must also comply with our Sarawak local laws. In this case our state laws, the State Sales Tax Ordinance 1998. Petronas, by not paying the sales tax that it owes to Sarawak is certainly a clear breach of the law,” he said.

He added that the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is serious in protecting and safeguarding the rights of Sarawak and fully committed to claim and collect taxes that legally belongs to the state, as provided for in the Sarawak Ordinances, particularly the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958, Federal Constitution, Inter Governmental Committee Report and Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“We know how important these extra tax revenues are in developing Sarawak, so as to prosper the people of Sarawak and in the process to provide a much better standard of living.

“We plan to collect back every cent that Petronas owes to Sarawak. For that, we owe no apologies to anyone in doing this for the people of Sarawak,” he said.

The Sarawak government filed a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim against Petronas at the High Court Registry in Kuching yesterday.

According to a statement from Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring, Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, the claim against Petronas is to recover the five per cent state sales tax on petroleum and petroleum products.

DayakDaily had confirmed with a reliable source that Petronas is owing the Sarawak government about RM1.29 billion in sales tax on petroleum products for the first half this year.

Petronas was given up to Oct 31 this year to pay the 5 per cent sales tax imposed by Sarawak on its petroleum products. Earlier this month, Sarawak government issued a Notice of Assessment to Petronas to make the necessary payment. — DayakDaily