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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 20: Petronas is owing the Sarawak government about RM1.29 billion in sales tax on petroleum products for the first half this year, a source claimed.
Since the national oil corporation has yet to make payment, the Sarawak government has no choice but to take the necessary legal action, the source said.
“We are suing Petronas for the first half, which is about RM1.29 billion. We have to sue Petronas so that it will pay the state sales tax for the second half (of the year) as well,” the source told DayakDaily.
The source added that other oil companies such as Murphy Oil and Pertamina have paid their five per cent sales tax to Sarawak.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was reported as saying yesterday that Petronas’ non-payment on the state sales tax was not discussed during the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) special steering committee meeting in Putrajaya.
The meeting, which took place on Monday, was chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It was reported that the MA63 steering committee decided that issues surrounding oil and gas royalties and cash payments for petroleum and gas extracted from Sabah and Sarawak will be discussed separately next month.
According to Sarawak Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, the meeting will take place between Dr Mahathir, Abang Johari and Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Petronas was given up to Oct 31 this year to pay the 5 per cent sales tax imposed by Sarawak on its petroleum products. Earlier this month, Sarawak government issued a Notice of Assessment to Petronas to make the necessary payment.
Petronas chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh was reported as saying last week that the company remain in discussion with the state and federal governments over the matter.
In his winding-up speech at the recent Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, the chief minister said that Sarawak is expected to earn some RM3.9 billion from the sales tax. — DayakDaily