Tourism tax revenue issue: Your response uncouth, Guan Eng told

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Jan 7: State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo today chided Lim Guan Eng for responding in a manner that is unbecoming of a federal minister to Sarawak’s request for its share of the tourism tax revenue.

Stating that the Finance Minister’s response was something unheard of in the history of Malaysia, Soo said, “This is overkill.”

She said Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was merely requesting for the state’s share of the tourism tax revenue as promised by the federal government.

Lim was wrong to hit back by demanding that Sarawak settle its RM2.5 billion debt to the federal government first, she insisted in a statement issued today.

With regards to the state-federal debt, Soo opined that the proper way would be for Lim to approach his counterpart in Sarawak to settle the matter.

Soo also raised the issue of oil and gas monies from Sarawak that had gone to the peninsula for the last 45 years, with royalty only at 5 per cent.

“Where is the 95 per cent? Where is the share to assist Sarawak to reduce poverty, build roads and provide piped water to all households?” she asked.

Soo advised the Sarawak government to ask Putrajaya to repatriate to Sarawak the billions of ringgit that Petronas had siphoned from the state under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA).

Soo also reminded Lim of Pakatan Harapan’s election pledge to give Sarawak 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent tax proceeds. Nothing has come out of it, thus far.

“The people of Sarawak have been duped by false promises, and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng should apologise to Sarawakians for the broken faith and failures to deliver their campaign vows,” she said. — DayakDaily