State govt expects payment of State Sales Tax in due time following withdrawal of appeal

Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali

Kuching, Aug 3: The Sarawak government can expect payment of RM2 billion in State Sales Tax in due time as Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has withdrawn its appeal against an earlier High Court decision on the matter today.

Sarawak’s de facto Law Minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the national company’s decision not to pursue the matter was a sign of goodwill between Petronas and the Sarawak state government.

“We welcome (the withdrawal of) Petronas’ appeal against the High Court decision. This is a positive move and an indication of a better working relationship and understanding between the state government and Petronas,” Sharifah Hasidah revealed in a statement issued here today.

She added that it also indicated Petronas’s acknowledgment and recognition of Sarawak’s constitutional right to impose State Sales Tax on its crude petroleum products.

“All things considered, I see this as a clear and positive way forward for all. For us, rest assured, we will always protect Sarawak’s right and put Sarawak interest first in all our endeavours,” she added.

Sharifah Hasidah was commenting on Petronas’ withdrawal this morning of its appeal over its failed judicial review application against the Sarawak government and the state’s Comptroller of State Sales Tax regarding RM2 billion in State Sales Tax sought since last year.

At the same time, the Sarawak government had withdrawn its cross-appeal over the jurisdiction issue of the High Court.

The withdrawal of Petronas’ appeal was recorded by the Court of Appeal Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who sat along with Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Justice Datuk Indera Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, recorded the withdrawal and said those appeals are struck out.

“Each party is to bear their own costs,” the appeal court ruled.

The proceeding today was done via video conferencing by the bench owing to Covid-19 fears.

Petronas was represented by Alvin Chong and Sarawak was represented by its attorney-general Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid and State Legal Advisor Datuk Seri JC Fong. — DayakDaily