KUCHING, Sept 16 — Sarawak’s endeavour to reclaim its rights on its oil and gas resources will reach a milestone tomorrow with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) finally handing over a cheque to the state government for the State Sales Tax (SST).
According to a media invite from the Chief Minister’s Office today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will receive the cheque from Petronas at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here at 4pm.
When ask to comment on the event, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali declined to disclose the sum.
She said it would be better for the chief minister to make the announcement on the exact SST sum paid by Petronas.
On September 13, Sharifah Hasidah had said Petronas was expected to pay over RM2 billion in SST on petroleum products to the State government by this month end.
The Semariang assemblywoman, however, pointed out that the total amount was being computed but it should include penalty and interest.
In January last year, the Sarawak government imposed the five per cent sales tax on Petronas’ petroleum products under the state’s Sales Tax Ordinance 1998, which the latter refused to pay, citing it as unconstitutional.
The state government then took legal action against it.
The Kuching High Court then ruled on March 13 that Sabah and Sarawak had the right under the Federal Constitution to impose sales tax on petroleum products.
Petronas had initially filed an appeal in court but the state and the oil corporation reached an agreement in May this year and both sides dropped their legal suits against each other. — Borneo Post