Friday, August 14

‘Court to decide on SST case’

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Sharifah Hasidah about to enter the courtroom. — Photos by Muhammad Raid Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak de facto Law Minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali is calling upon netizens criticising the state government and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, not to question the court’s hearing of the Petronas judicial review against Sarawak.

The Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) said although critics have different opinions with the state government, they should understand that the matter will eventually be determined by the court, and not through blatant criticism on social media.

“Of course people will have different opinions, but we must respect the sanctity of the court as the case is still being deliberated in court.

“To say that the state government does not know anything or other criticisms is not wise. Let the court decide after hearing all the statements and evidence,” she told reporters when met at the Kuching High Court here yesterday before the court hearing of a judicial review filed by Petronas against the state government over the imposition of the State Sales Tax (SST).

Wan Junaidi speaks to reporters during the 10-minute break.

Meanwhile, Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who also attended the hearing, expressed his confidence in the state legal team.

The team is led by state legal counsel Dato Sri JC Fong and State Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid.

“We, Sarawak, stand together. Whatever happens, we Sarawak stand together. We are confident with our team. We have a very solid case … very strong grounds and argument. I’m sure Datuk Talat and Dato Sri Fong are very well prepared,” Wan Junaidi said when met during a 10-minute court adjournment.

The three-day hearing which began yesterday is the culmination of more than a year of disagreements between Sarawak, the federal government and the national oil company over SST.

The court will decide whether the state can impose the five per cent SST on crude oil, liquefied natural gas and condensates produced by Petronas from natural resources extracted from Sarawak.

It will also determine the extent of Sarawak’s rights over its oil and gas resources under the law.