Export tax for local products?

KUCHING: Sarawak may impose export tax on local products to boost state coffers.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak had a lot of resources, including those with added value, “which we can use to implement the new method”.

“When we implement tax on the products, it will not burden the people of Sarawak because these local products are not for domestic consumption.

“Whatever products that we have for export, we should tax so that we can generate more income,” he said yesterday.

Citing the state’s latest alternative green energy — hydrogen — as an example, he said it was one of the new methods to boost the state’s development and revenue.

“We have the dams; we have the surplus water. From the abundant water resources, we can extract hydrogen and oxygen separately. We will be able to export the hydrogen produced from our water to foreign countries.”

Abang Johari also recalled his wish to implement room tax when he was Tourism Minister.

“Although the federal government has taken over (tourism tax), we can make do with the 50% return.

“If the number of visitors increases, our income will also increase. Therefore, when we have the funds, we will invest it back on the infrastructure, including the airline companies which are a major contributor in bringing visitors to the state,” he said.

LOOKS GOOD, FEELS GOOD…The Chief Minister getting a feel of the compact size of the New Sarawak Tribune as chief operating officer Rudi Affendi gives him a rundown of the paper’s content yesterday. The paper shifted into tabloid from the traditional broadsheet format last Sunday. “It feels good…I like the compact size,” said Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Open.