Abg Jo: June 23 hearing just legal procedure for Petronas to withdraw appeal

Posted on : 12 Jun 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

File pic of Petronas’ second floating LNG vessel, the PFLNG Dua, which has a production capacity of 1.5MTPA and capable of monetising deep-water gas fields in depths of up to 1,500 metres.

KUCHING: The June 23 hearing at the Court of Appeal is just a legal procedure for the Petronas to withdraw its appeal against the Kuching High Court decision, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said that Petronas had agreed to withdraw its appeal against the High Court decision that was made three months ago that Sarawak was entitled to collect sales tax on petroleum products upon the directive of the new federal government.

Petronas, he noted, had appealed earlier against the decision before the change of government.

“But the new government said there was no need for them to appeal, but to just comply with what has been ordered by the court based on the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Inter-Government Committee’s (IGC) report.

“When you want to withdraw your appeal, there is a procedure in the court to follow.

“So, the June 23 hearing or case management is part of the legal process of withdrawing their appeal,” he told a press conference at PBB headquarters here today in response to a news report that Petronas had appealed against Sarawak’s sales tax entitlement.

Abang Johari clarified that Petronas had made their appeal before the May 8 joint press statement.

He said Petronas now had to pay the SST after the federal government directed them to settle this issue, which meant that they did not want to appeal.

But because they had filed their appeal, they had to go to court first for the case management.

A news portal reported that the Court of Appeal has fixed June 23 to hear the appeal by Petronas against the Kuching High Court’s decision three months ago that Sarawak is entitled to collect sales tax on petroleum products.

On how soon Sarawak expected to receive the payment from Petronas, he said that once the procedure was fulfilled, they will pay.

He said Petronas had to follow the court procedure before they make payment.

“Based on our own calculation, we estimated about RM2.8 billion in SST from Petronas based on our 2019 assessment.

“But their calculation may be different, because it’s just like an income tax assessment. If there is any difference, we will discuss with them,” he said.