Wilfred Yap

KUCHING: With increased tax revenue for the state government coffers through the collection of State Sales Tax (SST) on petroleum products from Petronas, it is hoped that it would be shared with senior Sarawakians in the B40 group.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Kota Sentosa branch chairman Wilfred Yap said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government should take the lead as the first in Malaysia to consider in setting up a “Social Pension Fund” using a portion of the five percent SST collected on petroleum products from Petronas.

“The Social Pension Fund can then be used to fund a ‘non-contributory social pension’ a modest and fixed RM500 monthly payment to senior Sarawakians above the age of 70 in the B40 group.

“This is because the current retirement savings fund scheme under Employees Provident Fund (EPF) appears inadequate for retiring Sarawakian workers in the low income (B40) group who have relatively low average EPF savings at the point of their retirement,” he said in a statement on Saturday (July 4).

He said immediate family members in Sarawak have thus so far tended to finance the needs of older persons who are no longer able to work.

“However, Sarawak’s increasingly urbanising population may result in situations where the elderly may no longer be living together with their immediate family members.

“And as such it is pertinent for the GPS -led Sarawak government to provide a social safety security net to safeguard the welfare of our senior Sarawakians in the B40 group after they retire from the workforce,” he pointed out.

Yap also congratulated GPS under the able leadership Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on his success in getting Petronas to agree to pay in full the SST on petroleum products which amounts to more than RM2 billion to Sarawak.

“GPS also secured the agreement from Petronas to engage the Sarawak GPS government to facilitate a more active participation by local Sarawakians in the investment opportunities in the oil and gas industry in the state,” he said.