SST not ‘trade-off’ for rights

Kho Teck Wan

KUCHING: The State Sales Tax (SST) payment from Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) is not a trade-off for Sarawak’s rights over its oil and gas, said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan.

She said the statement by Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen which suggested otherwise was untrue and only served to confuse the public.

“State Sales Tax has nothing to do with Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA74). It is based on the ability of Sarawak to impose sales tax on petroleum products under Article 95B (3) of the Federal Constitution,” she said on Saturday.

Kho noted that the state government and the federal government were still discussing on a resolution towards resolving PDA74.

“Sarawak government is still negotiating with Putrajaya to resolve the PDA 74 and Territorial Sea Act 2012 (Act 750) so that they are compatible with the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO).

“OMO 58 is still a good and valid law even after the formation of Malaysia,” she said.

Kho said Chong was cowed into practising double standards when it compared Sarawak accepting the SST payment to surrendering the state’s rights over oil and gas when his ally and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was also pursuing SST.

“How about Shafie Apdal threatening to sue Petronas for the unpaid SST? Is Chong’s allies also surrendering the Sabah rights? Why does he not say the same to Shafie?” she asked.

The SUPP Women chief said Sarawakians had waited 22 months for Pakatan Harapan and DAP to fulfill their pledge of giving a 20 percent oil and gas royalty along with 50 percent return of taxes to the state, but to no avail.

“They failed the people. But when GPS government delivered what was promised, DAP is being unsportsmanlike and tried to cover up what they can’t achieve by downplaying GPS’ achievement,” she said.