S’wak can impose sales tax on petroleum products

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has the right to impose sales tax on the sale of its petroleum products, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

She rejected the view by constitutional law expert Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi who told reporters on Tuesday that Sarawak couldn’t impose its 5 percent sales tax on petroleum products as
petroleum was an item under the Federal List.

He was interviewed after delivering his keynote address during a lecture on “The Spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in our Constitution’ at a hotel here on Tuesday.

He also said, “Petronas has argued that Sarawak can acquire the power to impose sales tax but only over
matters that are stated in the State List.

Hasidah brushed off Shad’s views and pointed out that Sarawak had its own view on the matter.

“We will continue the implementation of five percent tax to petroleum companies”.

Hasidah was fielding questions from reporters after a function at a hotel here
yesterday.

“There are several avenues that we can take including taking them to court if the petroleum companies refuse to pay the tax,” she said, adding that Petronas had   yet to settle its dues to the state
government.

“Regardless, we will look at it from the law point of view and I believe that Shad’s view is his alone,” said Hasidah.