Petroleum tax swells Sarawak’s coffers

Posted on : 10 May 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

CM says Sarawak has started collecting 5 pct sales tax on petroleum products

Abang Johari (centre) looks through his winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly. He is flanked by his private secretary Ahmad Hazlan Ismawi (left) and principal private secretary Datuk Khir Busrah.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has started collecting revenue from the imposition of five per cent sales tax on petroleum products which takes effect on January 1 this year.

This was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when speaking to reporters at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

The new tax was tabled in the 2019 Budget on Nov 5 last year as new source of revenue.

The tax is one of the rights enshrined in the constitution reclaimed by Sarawak .

It is to be levied on crude oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, chemical-based fertilisers and gas-to-liquid products, and is expected to generate estimated revenue of RM3.897 billion.

“I don’t have the figure but we are collecting. That’s why you notice our (Sarawak) first quarter revenue is over RM2 billion. It is all accumulated inside there,” he said.

When asked if there would be any cabinet reshuffle after Hari Raya next month, Abang Johari was coy and neither denied nor confirmed the speculation .

“Wait for the time lah…If there is a reshuffle, I will tell you later. I also do not know about this (reshuffle after Hari Raya),” he said.

Abang Johari, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, was earlier asked on GPS’ stand on the aggressive membership drive by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) in areas represented by GPS components Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

“Later we will talk to you on this,” he said.

On Wednesday,  Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, who is also PRS president said there is no place for PSB in GPS.

Masing claimed GPS component parties will not accommodate PSB in the ruling coalition.

On the appointment of some PSB leaders in the state cabinet, he said that it is up to the chief minister to decide whether to remove them from the government administration.