Soo: Don’t wait till the cows come home for 20 pct royalty, just increase SST to 20 pct

Lina Soo

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KUCHING, April 23: Instead of waiting until the cows come home for the 20 per cent oil and gas (O&G) royalty, Sarawak only needs to raise the five per cent State Sales Tax (SST) on its resources to 20 per cent.

This is the view of Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo when she said this would achieve similar results and there is nothing to stop Sarawak from doing that.

“There is nothing to stop Sarawak from even raising the SST to 38 per cent as the federal government is imposing 38 per cent Petroleum Sales Tax (PITA) upon Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), so the solution is just staring back at you in the face and that is by simply raising the Sarawak SST for now,” she said.

She was responding to a previous statement by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who had said that the five per cent SST Sarawak has successfully imposed on all its O&G supplies is insufficient and “too small” as it deserves the 20 per cent O&G royalty.

While urging Abdul Karim to think outside the box, she also called on the Minister not to create political fodder by leveraging on the 20 per cent O&G royalty when the state election is near.

On another similar issue, Soo said she finds it most interesting when Abdul Karim said there is no stopping the younger generations from seeking Sarawak independence if Sarawakians continue to be shortchanged.

Seeing that Abdul Karim has bravely acknowledged the expressions of grievances and shortchanges Sarawak is experiencing, she urged the Minister to stand up and lead the young aspiring Sarawakians in seeking independence for Sarawak.

“If he does not do so, he is surely shirking his noble duty of protecting Sarawakians by pushing it to the younger generations to face the ultimate when it comes to the crunch.

“If so, shouldn’t Datuk Karim need to quit and give way to the younger generations today who he admits are knowledgeable and well-educated, to take on the challenging task of fulfilling the Sarawak people’s aspiration for restoration of independence sovereignty,” she added. — DayakDaily