By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Apr 3: Sabah and Sarawak should stand together in demanding their rights in accordance to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
“It seems that Sabah is just practicing a ‘wait and see’ attitude when it comes to fighting for its rights. If Sarawak can get those rights, Sabah just jump in and claim as if it was their effort to make it happen.
“Sabah and Sarawak must learn to fight without fear and favour for what are rightfully ours. My advice to Sabah, please stand like a man for your rights. Don’t ride on Sarawak’s coattails all the time,” Masing said today.
Masing, who is also deputy chief minister, said Sabah seemed unwilling to fight for its rights as if it preferred to keep its ‘good boy’ image.
“Sabah just wants to share the spoils of war, but they don’t dare to fight. They don’t want to be, it seems, in the ‘bad books’ of Putrajaya. Sabah just wants to be seen as a ‘good boy’ image by Putrajaya,” said Masing.
Quoting Emiliano Zapata Salazar, a famous Mexican general who was a main leader of the Mexican Revolution which spanned 1910-1920, Masing reminded leaders from Sabah and Sarawak that they should be guided by his famous saying, “I prefer die standing than living on bended knees.”
Meanwhile, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah echoed Masing’s sentiment saying, “Well, despite Sabah Sarawak allowed under Federal Constitution to impose sales tax on petroleum products, Sabah has been reluctant to follow Sarawak’s stand before this. Probably they want to be in Putrajaya’s good books as Putrajaya has always insisted that anything to do with oil and gas comes under Petronas and the federal government”.
Abdul Karim who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said Sabah, like Sarawak too, had the rights to impose Sales Tax on oil and gas based on the Federal Constitution.
“But with the Court of Appeal decision recently, Sarawak is deemed to have that rights to impose Sales Tax. Probably Sabah does not want to lose out and wants to jump onto the bandwagon in imposing the same now,” said Karim.
Both Masing and Karim were commenting on Sabah government’s decision to impose 5 per cent sales tax on oil and gas companies operating in Sabah.
Sarawak has imposed its 5 per cent oil and gas since January 2019. Currently, all oil and gas companies operating in Sarawak had paid their dues except Petronas which is still appealing the case.
Sarawak is expected to generate RM3.9 bil from the State Sales tax to support its development agenda. —DayakDaily