Sarawak to charge Petronas interest over late SST payment

Sharifah Hasidah speaking at the press conference at the DUN complex today (Nov 5, 2019).

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 5: Sarawak will charge Petronas interest for late payment as the national petroleum corporation continues to defer payment of the five per cent State Sales Tax (SST), said Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring, Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

Due to Petronas dragging its feet, Sharifah Hasidah said the Sarawak government will now take all the necessary legal actions soonest possible.

“It has been frustrating for us. So, we will take all legal means as soon as we can according to our Sales Tax Ordinance,” Sharifah Hasidah told a press conference on the sidelinew of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

She reiterated that the Sarawak government had been patient during the negotiation period which ended on Sept 31.

“We will utilise all legal avenues available so that all sums due from Petronas under the Ordinance are paid and we are ready for any legal means,” she said.

She was affirming the state budget which was tabled by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Monday where he said Sarawak will not budge on the issue.

“As stated by YAB Chief Minister during his Budget Speech on Nov 4, Petronas has not to date, paid the State Sales Tax on petroleum products due under the State Sales Tax Ordinance.

“As highlighted by YAB Chief Minister, the government will allow the law to take its course. It goes without saying that the government will vigorously pursue the matter and the relevant authorities have already put everything required in place for the purpose,” she reiterated.

In the 2020 budget, the Sarawak government expects to collect RM3.491 billion from SST of which RM2.878 billion is expected to come from crude oil, liquified natural gas and other petroleum products.

Meanwhile, Sharifah Hasidah also disclosed that there is no development so far on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) negotiation which ended on Oct 31. — DayakDaily