KUCHING, Nov 22: The state government action in taking Petronas to court over unpaid tax speaks loud enough of Sarawak’s firmness and resolve in asserting its rights over its oil and gas resources.
Political observer Datuk Peter Minos pointed out that Sarawak has no choice but to sue Petronas to pay up the five per cent sales tax for petroleum products.
“At long last, now that we have taken legal action against Petronas, the people of Sarawak are rejoicing.
“By suing Petronas, it shows that the Sarawak government is standing firm that we will not be bullied by Petronas and the federal government. Enough is enough and that the river of Rubicon has been crossed,” he stressed in a press statement today.
Peter claimed that Petronas was well aware of the obligation by law to pay the tax but it seemed that the oil company has deliberately not complied, perhaps at the advice of its master, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government.
“Petronas knows that other oil companies like Shell, Nippon Oil and Murphy Oil have paid up according to the law in which they were operating in.
“It is now for the courts to make the judgement. If Sarawak wins, and most likely will, Sarawak will probably get at least RM2 billion of extra income this year.
“If Sarawak loses, but not likely, Sarawak will still be ‘victorious’ in the sense that Sarawakians will see that the Sarawak government has finally taken a stand against a very difficult and recalcitrant Petronas,” he said.
Peter added that Petronas should have shown some respect to Sarawak and not just taking orders from PH federal government.
“Petronas should be grateful to Sarawak. It should respect Sarawak and our laws. Instead, they are playing difficult with Sarawak.
“No wonder Sarawakians are not pleased and happy with Petronas. Many people are questioning how dare a company shows total defiance and disrespect to Sarawak when they have sucked dry the oil and gas in Sarawak,” he shared about the sentiment among Sarawak communities.
The Comptroller of the State Sales Tax, Sarawak and the State Government have filed a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim at the High Court registry here yesterday (Nov 21).
The claim against Petronas was to recover the five per cent State Sales Tax on petroleum and petroleum product. The State Sales Tax over petroleum product has been imposed by Sarawak under the Sales Tax Ordinance 1998.
On Wednesday (Nov 20), 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 of this year.
The source added that other oil companies such as Murphy Oil and Pertamina have paid their due to Sarawak.— DayakDaily