KUCHING, Nov 7: Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen should focus on making Petronas adhere to its obligation to pay the petroleum sales tax, says PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
According to Tiong, Chong’s claim that the Sarawak state budget is a form of ‘alternative budgeting’ as it was based on projected revenues and sales tax collection is nonsensical.
Tiong highlighted that Chong was making this claim by pointing fingers at the state for not making Petronas make good on its obligation to pay their sales tax for oil and gas products.
“Chong’s statement is ridiculous coming from a federal government deputy minister who has the means and channels to help his home state pressure Petronas and the Cabinet into paying the sales tax rightly owed to Sarawak,” according to the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president in a press statement, today.
Tiong also claimed that Democratic Action Party (DAP) leaders like Chong continued to use the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case to distract from negative sentiment for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) allegedly lacklustre performance.
He opined that it was incredulous forChong to use 1MDB to discredit the state budget as if they are the same thing.
“It is an established fact that the revenues and expenditures in the Budget are above-board and transparent, and it is also indisputable that Petronas is the sole agent refusing to meet its obligations to repay the 5 per cent sales tax on oil and gas products from Sarawak,” he noted.
Tiong who is also MP for Bintulu questioned why Chong is not pursuing the matter with Petronas, as its was in PH’s election manifesto to press for a 20 per cent oil royalty and to return 50 per cent of the tax collected in Sarawak as well as restore state rights according to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
“Does he worry that with the 5 per cent collected, the state might become too rich and prosperous thus making the ‘rakyat’ happy and support the state government, leaving the DAP without any political ammo?” questioned Tiong.
Tiong pointed out that the previous government had negotiated endlessly with the federal government on this and discussed many details.
He opined that the PH government has forgotten to serve the rakyat that got them voted into government. — DayakDaily