Paying SST is recognising Sarawak’s rights: Fazruddin

Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman

KUCHING: The settlement reached between Sarawak and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) on the imposition of State Sales Tax (SST) is a huge victory for the state, said Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.

He said with the settlement, Petronas now recognises the state laws and agrees with the SST policy.

“So, now which part does it say that we are not winning in terms of fighting for Sarawak’s rights?” he asked.

Fazzrudin pointed out that with the settlement Petronas has agreed to drop the appeal against Sarawak to the High Court and accept its prior ruling, which ordered it to pay the SST due to Sarawak.

“Previously, they only recognised Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA74) and not state laws, but with their decision to drop the appeal, they are recognising the state laws.

“These state laws are the ones that will benefit Sarawakians. This is a huge strategic victory for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and our legal team,” he said in a statement yesterday.

On the RM2 billion SST paid by Petronas, Fazzrudin said it is the amount owed by the corporation for 2019 and does not include the amounts paid by other oil and gas companies such as Shell and Murphy Oil.

“Petronas also agrees to conditions that will benefit Sarawakians. What are the conditions? That has not been decided, that is why a joint committee chaired by both Senior Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz is formed.

“This will be deliberated at the committee level and will be brought to the state legislature for approval,” he said.

He said irresponsible parties who made allegations that Sarawak had surrendered its rights by recognising Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA74) were merely spicing up the issue.