Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: “This is the best birthday gift for our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

“We hope Sarawakians will continue to support him,” said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah today.

She was commenting on the withdrawal of Petronas’ appeal against the Kuching High Court ruling that the state was entitled to collect sales tax on petroleum products on Monday.  

Fatimah added that Petronas’ decision confirmed that Sarawak had rights over the oil and gas in its territory.

“This means the notion that Petronas and federal government have a sole right over our oil and gas resources is inaccurate,” she told reporters at a press conference on Sarawak Women’s Day 2020 here at Wisma Wanita building on Tuesday (Aug 4).

Fatimah also congratulated Abang Johari and the late chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem for fighting for Sarawak’s rights.

In January last year, the Sarawak government imposed a 5% sales tax on Petronas’ petroleum products under the state’s Sales Tax Ordinance 1998.

Petronas, however, refused to pay the tax, saying it was unconstitutional, resulting in the state government’s legal action against it.

On March 13, the Kuching High Court ruled that Sabah and Sarawak had the right under the Federal Constitution to impose sales tax on petroleum products, dismissing Petronas’ bid to

declare the Sarawak sales tax null and void.

On Monday, it was reported that Petronas had withdrawn its appeal against the High Court’s ruling and that the state government had also withdrawn its cross-appeal.