STAR advises Sarawak govt to impose more sales tax on petroleum products

Lina Soo

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 16: State Reform Party (STAR) opined that the Sarawak government should increase the sales tax on petroleum products that are meant for export next year.

Its president, Lina Soo, said the state government should not negotiate on the five per cent with the federal government.

“Our sales tax is only five per cent. What is there to negotiate? Just pay up. And next year, we should increase the sales tax,” Soo told DayakDaily in an exclusive interview today.

She said Putrajaya had been collecting 38 per cent of petroleum income tax (Peta). It used to be 45 per cent.

“Five per cent is too little. We can even impose 38 per cent Sarawak sales tax. After all, the federal government can impose 38 per cent.”

Last year, she said, Petronas had a surplus profit because the price of crude oil went up to USD70 per barrel, but Sarawak benefitted nothing from it.

“We disagree with CM (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) who said the Sarawak government can lower the sales tax if it is too high. We want it to be increased, not lowered. Five per cent is too little.

“And the Sarawak government should not say there is room for negotiation for the five per cent. There should be no room for negotiation to decrease the sales tax. There is only room for negotiation to increase it.”

Soo noted that federal ministers had been trying to twist Abang Johari’s arm.

“And our Sarawak ministers must not be weak. Our common enemy is the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government. They (the federal government) collect Peta. They collect sales tax. They collect royalty.

“We don’t collect even royalty. Our five per cent is only cash payment, not royalties. Its cash payment. The royalty is collected by the federal government.”

She, thus, held the view that the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) had not been fighting hard enough for Sarawak’s oil and gas rights.

“In my opinion, GPS is not fighting hard enough. The most important thing is oil and gas. They are not fighting hard enough for oil and gas,” said Soo. — DayakDaily