By Dorcas Ting
KUCHING, Feb 11: Judicial Commissioner (JC) Christopher Chin Soo Yin fixed March 13 to hear the Sarawak Government’s lawsuit against Petronas for its unpaid 5 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) amounting to RM1.3 billion.
According to State legal counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong, the RM1.3 billion was for the first half of year 2019 with interest included.
He said, the decision by JC Christopher Chin was appealable, however it depended on Petronas whether to appeal against the decision or not.
“As far as we are concerned, the hearing is to proceed. ”
He said that on March 13, High Court Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli would deliver his judgement on the judicial review filed by Petronas against Sarawak’s imposition of State Sales Tax (SST) on petroleum products and condensates while Chin will hear the case of Sarawak Government to recover unpaid 5 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) amounting to RM 1.3 billion.
Earlier on, Petronas applied for Chin to recuse himself from presiding over the case. Chin on Jan 23 dismissed the recusal application by Petronas at the cost of RM50,000.
Petronas made an appeal against this decision and on February 4, applied for a stay on the hearing of the case pending their appeal application of the Chin’s decision to dismiss their application for his recusal.
Petronas applied for a stay on the hearing on grounds that if they won the appeal, the hearing of the case would have to start all over again.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Government stated that the case should proceed with the hearing because this case was of public interest and should not be stopped half-way just because Petronas wanted to appeal.
If the JC allowed the stay application by Petronas, the civil suit would be stopped until the final decision by Federal Court.
Petronas was represented by lead lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and counsel Alvin Chong. Sarawak government was represented by State Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, State Legal Counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong, Nur Azhar Bujang, Saferi Ali and Voon Yan Sin. —DayakDaily