Sarawak DAP says backing state govt to file legal suit against Petronas

Sulok Tawie
A car passes by a Petronas petrol station in Kuala Lumpur July 31, 2019. — Reuters pic

KUCHING, Nov 22 — Sarawak DAP today gave its support to the state government over its filing of a legal suit against the Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to recover unpaid state sales tax.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said such action should have been taken much earlier because the proceeds of the sales tax have been budgeted as state revenue in the state Budget 2019.

“We are now approaching the end of 2019. For the past 11 months, revenue that was budgeted to be received by the state government has yet to be received,” he said.

Yesterday, the state government and state comptroller of the state sales tax filed a writ of summons and a statement of claim against Petronas, for allegedly failing to pay the sales tax to the state.

The case was filed at the Kuching High Court Registry.

Sarawak Law, State-Federal Relations and Projects Monitoring Assistant Minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali had said Petronas had not paid the state sales tax for petroleum products under the State Sales Tax Ordinance 1998, which is due to the state.

“As a result, the state government is left with no choice but to commence legal action for the recovery of the unpaid sales tax,” Hasidah had said in a statement.

Chong, who is also the deputy minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, said the court case may determine if the state government has the legal rights to unilaterally charge the 5 percent sales tax.

The state government had fixed October 31 for Petronas to pay the sales tax, which it had failed to comply.

It is understood that the amount of unpaid sales tax to be RM1.2 billion.

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