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By Jacob Achoi
BAU, Sept 19: The payment of RM2.95 billion tax by Petronas to the state government shows that the federal government recognises the state’s rights, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
“When the state government received the payment, that clearly showed that the federal government recognised and respect the rights of the state,” Awang Tengah said today.
He pointed out this to reporters after presenting land titles under section 18 to 117 landowners in Singai area.
Awang Tengah added that the negative remarks from certain quarters seemed that they disagreed with the payment.
“Does (the negative remarks) means that they (certain quarters) disagree with the 5 per cent Sales and Service Tax (SST) made recently?” Awang Tengah said.
Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Urban Development and Second Minister of Natural Resources further stressed that the payment was finally made after facing many obstacles.
“The payment was made after facing much obstacles in pursuing our rights on oil and gas,” he pointed out.
He took a swipe at the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, whose promise of 20 per cent oil and gas royalty to the state did not materialise.
Another unfulfilled promise was the return of 50 per cent tax to the state for taxes collected from the state.
“Both promises were never materialised and given to the state, so look at the mirror first,” Awang Tengah, who is Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development said.
Meanwhile, State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the decision to accept the payment was a “trade-off” for the state rights on her oil and gas.
Chong, who is Stampin MP said this was the second time that the state government reaffirmed the validity of the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, which took away Sarawak’s oil and gas rights.
According to him, the first time was in 1974, when PDA was tabled and passed in Parliament. — DayakDaily