KUCHING: Parti Sarawak Bersatu president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh has demanded that the state government disclose the amount of State Sales Tax (SST) paid by each oil company to explain how the state could collect RM3.897 billion in revenue for last year.
The state’s former second finance minister said he had asked for details of the payments in a statement on May 10 but the state had not responded.
He pointed out that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had said in his 2019 Budget speech that the tax revenue from petroleum products was RM3.897 billion.
However, the state’s de facto law minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Wong said, had explained earlier this week that the amount was from all oil companies charged the SST and that Petronas owed about RM2 billion.
He cited a press report which said: “Sharifah Hasidah told the press that this RM2 billion did not include the State Sales Tax (SST) on petroleum products paid by other oil companies like Shell, Murphy Oil, Pertamina and others.”
In this respect, Wong said he had demanded to know where the balance of RM1.897 billion came from since, from what he could recall, the SST paid by the other oil companies only amounted to tens of millions.
“I now repeat my call on the chief minister and finance minister to come out with an honest answer as to how much was paid by each company for sales tax on petroleum products and how much the shortfall is for the 2019 budget and how the shortfall was covered,” Wong said in a statement today.
He said the issue would be exacerbated in 2020 because there was another RM2.878 billion of sales tax from petroleum products which Petronas did not pay.
“The reality that the GPS government now faces is that it has been spending ‘anticipated income’ in 2019 and 2020 but the income has not materialized to date. Yet, in all the GPS press statements in reply, not one GPS minister has dared to touch this issue in an honest transparent manner,” said Wong, referring to Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
He also hit out at GPS for convening the one day sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) on Monday and disallowing all debates
“I can only surmise that the reason is so that the finance minister does not have to explain the sales tax debacle to the DUN because he simply has no explanation,” said Wong.