Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

BAU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan has hit back at negative remarks from certain quarters on the RM2.95 billion payment of State Sales Tax (SST) from Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to the state government.

“Does this mean that they disagree with the SST payment made recently?” he questioned when met by reporters after officiating at a presentation of land titles at the Kampung Tanjong Poting multipurpose hall here on Saturday.

“Last time they promised, like Democratic Action Party (DAP) promised 20 percent oil royalty to Sarawak and 50 percent of the taxes collected from Sarawak to be given back to the state. Where is this promise?

“Don’t just talk, look at yourself in the mirror,” he said.

He said that when the state government received the RM2.95 billion payment from Petronas recently, this clearly showed that the federal government recognised and respected the state’s rights.

“Now, we are thankful that we can work together with the federal government and Petronas to pursue our rights on SST. Finally, we have reached an agreement despite various obstacles earlier,” he said.

Earlier, in his speech during the ceremony, Awang Tengah emphasised that only the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government could defend the rights and interests of Sarawak.

“We will continue to fight for our rights and interests as enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” he said.

He noted that recently, numerous parties had been formed, with their supposed aim being to strive for Sarawak’s rights and interests.

“However, the one who really fights for our rights and interests are our leaders – from Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (now Head of State) and Tok Nan (former chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem), they voiced out about the eroded rights which must be returned to Sarawak.”

He said that this was continued by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, while urging the people to continue working together to strengthen the spirit of unity and cooperation.