Sarawak demands proper formula for tax sharing

Abang Johari (second right) and other GPS leaders giving the thumb’s up in show of strength and unity.

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By Karen Bong

SIBU, Feb 8: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has demanded Putrajaya to return Sarawak’s share of taxes collected based on a proper formula.

He said at resent, the taxes collected in Sarawak including income tax, road tax and stamp duty all go to the federal government.

“I have brought this up and discussed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) consultative committee, that we want a formula to be created to be used under Article 112D for distribution of special development grants to Sarawak and Sabah,” he said when launching Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Sibu (Zone 9) here today.

Under Budget 2020, the federal government allocated RM53.4 million for Sabah, while Sarawak received RM34 million in a special federal grant under the constitutional guarantees of the Malaysian Federation.

Abang Johari, who is GPS chairman, questioned the basis of the calculation, as he considered the figure unacceptable.

“If they give us, we take first, but the principle on the method of calculation is wrong. There must be a proper formula to calculate the distribution of special grant, as Putrajaya is collecting taxes from both Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.

Giving assurance that Sarawak’s economy is growing well and managed to attract foreign investors, he added that the state is able to introduce various initiatives to benefit the people especially the B40 group.

He cited assistance for farmers, fishermen, newborn babies, new mothers, RM5,000 for electricity installation and free RM5 water bill as examples.

“Don’t worry, I have the formula (revenue engineering) to ensure continuous development.” — DayakDaily