Moral obligation for companies to contribute

Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan

KUCHING: There is a moral obligation for companies making big profits during the Covid-19 pandemic to contribute to government coffers.

Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) president Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan said the pandemic, which led to economic doldrums, has not affected everyone.

“There are those who still make huge profit like banks, those who provide supplies in the fight against Covid-19 and some plantation companies.

“These companies have moral obligation to contribute to government coffers for financing economic recovery and help those badly affected,” he said today.

He was commenting on a suggestion by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the federal government to impose a windfall tax on businesses having extraordinary profits.

Abang Helmi however said the windfall tax was only appropriate to be imposed during times of crisis.

“I agree with Tun (Mahathir) as not everyone is suffering during the pandemic. But the windfall tax should not be used during normal times as it can drive away investors,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, when speaking at a forum on Wednesday, said proceeds from the windfall tax could help the government during Covid-19 given that it has spent massively in doling out financial and food aid.

“If we follow the normal taxation system, during a time when economic activities have been greatly reduced, then the government will get less tax.

“We need to rebalance the effects of this pandemic so companies that make big profits (during a pandemic) will help efforts to assist those who are badly affected.

“Windfall tax can be introduced. This is not unusual,” he said.