Petronas must pay, says Sebastian Ting
Secretary General of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, Datuk Sebastian Ting said Petronas must pay up as what Kuching High Court orders Petronas to settle RM 1.3 billion owed to Sarawak Govt
Ting who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said Kuching High Court has dismissed the application by Petronas for stay of execution of judgement sum and indeed ordered Petronas to pay the State Sales Tax (SST) Order 2018 on petroleum products amounting RM 1.3 billion to Sarawak government.
“We have said on numerous occasions that Sarawak government has the constitutional right to impose the said sales tax on petroleum products and collect from all oil companies operating in Sarawak including the national oil company. Other oil companies operating in Sarawak had all paid their respective 5 % State Sales Tax accordingly. There cannot be exception for Petronas, “ he said.
This stance remains the same, notwithstanding a change of Federal Government from Pakatan Harapan to Perikatan Nasional.
Petronas must therefore pay first the SST as ordered by the court before its appeal to the Court of Appeal on June 17, 2020 against the High Court decision delivered on March 13 can proceed to be heard.
To refresh our memories, he added, under the Article 95B(3) of the Federal Constitution, Sarawak and Sabah have the power to make laws for the imposing of sales taxes and any sales tax imposed by State law shall be deemed to be among the matters enumerated in the State List and not the Federal List.
Petronas, he stated prides itself as one of the Fortune 500 companies and indeed it is ranked 191 out of the 500 Fortune companies for the year 2019. It is an international recognised ranking.
Thus it goes without saying that as a reputable international company, it is in their interest and to maintain their reputation that Petronas has no other alternative but to abide by the law of Sarawak and follows the court decision to pay what they owed to Sarawak
“Much time has been spent in going to Court. It is time to put all these behind and time to move forward with the aim of restoring the lost goodiwll between Petronas and Sarawak Government and the people of Sarawak
It is perhaps timely, reasonable and prudent for our Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step in and stop this ongoing court case by instructing Petronas to drop its appeal. The new Federal Government must be seen to be more reasonable, more sincere and sensitive to respect and return the rights of Sarawak compared to the previous Pakatan Government, ” he pointed out. The people of Sarawak expect Sarawak Government to safeguard the interest of Sarawak and to collect every Ringgit from Petronas. Nothing less and nothing more.
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