BY NATASHA JEE & GABRIEL LIHAN
Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has clarified the rationale of imposing State Sales Tax (SST) on tyres is to defray the expenses of disposing used tyres throughout the state.
He stressed this is a part of the industries’ contribution towards the conservation of the environment.
“Nonetheless, the state government has given 50 per cent remission on this tax effective January 2021 until December 2022 to ease the financial burden of the tyre businesses during this trying time,” he said.
Uggah, who is also the Second Finance and New Economy Minister, said this in response to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Padungan) in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday (Dec 1).
Later, when Uggah was delivering his winding-up speech, Chong stood up to speak and had appealed to the government to postpone the imposition of the SST on tyres for another three years given that businesses are still struggling to recover and to ease the financial burden of the businesses.
“I hope the state government can take this suggestion seriously so as not to burden the business sector and also the consumers,” said Chong.
Uggah then replied to Chong by saying that, “I hope YAB (Chong) understands that the objective of the tax is to assist the government to ensure the used tyres will not affect the environment.
“That is why we have appointed a company to undertake the collection of the used tyres. And for your information, since 2013, they have collected 78,000 tonnes of tyres in big cities.
“Can you imagine all those tyres lying around all over the place? Let’s say, near your house where all mosquitoes and so on may cause some problems.
“So, that is the objective, I want everybody to be clear that it is purely for environmental safety,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said the state government was very responsive to public opinion and public suggestions on the matter.
“Hence, that is why the Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg gave the remission of 50 per cent until 2022.
“What happens next, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is open for discussion. It has never been the GPS government’s intention to unnecessarily burden the public.
“Our job is to save the people. Our job is to make sure Sarawakians will continue to thrive in the beautiful land of Sarawak, including my friend from Padungan,” he said.