KUCHING: Petronas’ reluctance to pay the petroleum state sales tax owed to Sarawak is an embarrassment for an international company, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.
He said he was very disappointed with Petronas for its failure to pay Sarawak its five percent tax.
“It is an international company. Therefore, they should take heed to pay us. It is a constitutional obligation. Shell and Murphy Oil pays their obligation,” he said.
“I hope they will do so before Sarawak takes legal action to claim what is ours,” said Masing when supporting Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s state budget speech over the matter at the state legislative assembly sitting this morning.
Masing, who is also Infrastructure and Port Development Minister, described the 2020 State Budget as a development-centric budget with rural areas as its main focus.
He pointed out that 67 per cent of the total budget went to development.
Out of the RM9.891 billion budget, RM3.29 billion for operating expenditure; while RM6.5 billion was allocated for development with RM4.14 billion for rural areas to improve its basic infrastructure like roads, bridges, water and electricity.
“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government has its focus right. My ministry is grateful to government focussing on infrastructural development,” Masing said.
He said GPS would have used its funding for more development if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government did not backtrack on its promises after the 14th general election last May.
Masing also said that even though PH is a new administration, they have a responsibility to carry out what its predecessor had promised.
“The PH government cannot say they didn’t made those promises, therefore, they aren’t duty bound to implement them. Any democratically formed govt will not the allow new government to make such weak excuses for not carrying out what their predecessor had promised.”