Abang Johari hands over appointment letters to several community leaders at a dinner held at the Banting Indoor Stadium, Lawas yesterday. Photo: Ukas

LAWAS: Sarawak could receive RM15 billion over the next five years from the state sales tax (SST) imposed on its petroleum products.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) recently settled its outstanding SST payment for 2019 amounting to RM3.1 billion.

“I have calculated that we will get an average of RM2.5 billion every year.

“If it is RM3 billion, we will be getting RM15 billion over the next five years,” he said when speaking at ‘Dinner with Chief Minister of Sarawak’ programme held at Banting Indoor Stadium here last Monday night.

“The people’s bridge, no problem. The people’s road, no problem … we have the revenue.”

He added that efforts to increase the state’s revenue would not stop there, hinting that Limbang and Lawas have resources that would give the state a brighter future.

“We already have the rights to explore our reserve of oil and gas. It doesn’t belong to Petronas. It is ours.

“It is true that our gas reserve accounted for a massive 54 percent of total national gas reserves. And in terms of geology, our hydrocarbons have been encountered from Baram to Balingian and from Balingian to Natuna.

“We should not let the resources be unattended. But first, we must have knowledge in this. That is why I recommend our Sarawak children to be sent for study at the international level, so that they can explore more on our untapped resources.”