By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Jan 16: It is shameful that Petronas is reluctant to pay the 5 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) while other oil companies operating in Sarawak have paid their dues.
As such, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing pointed out that Sarawak suing Petronas was based on its right to impose the 5 per cent SST based on the Oil and Mineral Ordinance (OMO) 1958.
“Sarawak suing Petronas for its reluctance in paying commodities tax from gas exploited from Sarawak territories is not a question of legality. It’s a matter of moral and ethical obligation of Petronas to Sarawak. Other foreign corporations paid their dues, while our own national corporation refuses. What a shame,” Masing said.
Masing who is also president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) asserted that those who favoured Petronas’ legal action including Putrajaya should also be shameful of themselves.
“Sarawakians have every right to safeguard their properties. Laws or legal arguments are of secondary consideration in this matter! It’s might against the weak in this case. Laws, in principle, are meant to safeguard the interest of the weak and not to protect the mighty,” added Masing.
Masing was commenting on Petronas’ continued refusal to pay the 5 per cent SST, and whereby on Tuesday, the High Court had decided to fix Jan 23 on whether Judicial Commissioner Christopher Chin should recuse himself from presiding over the High Court case of the Sarawak Government suing Petronas for unpaid SST amounting to some RM1.3 billion for the first half of last year (2019). —DayakDaily