KUCHING: The state government will be pursuing the return of taxes collected from the state.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this was being done through getting a Sarawakian representative in the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
“I fully support Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg in demanding for a Sarawakian representative in the IRB. There has been an oversight (on why this was not done).
“When the taxes are imposed, Sarawak does have rights – there are certain things in the state that belongs to the state,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (Nov 29).
Abdul Karim said Sarawak had the rights to land matters and throughout the years, transactions on land–its taxes and duties–were being channelled to federal coffers instead of state.
“When we ask from Malaya, how much is the amount of tax (from Sarawak) and from that amount, how much is from land matters.
“This is a matter that belongs to the state, this is a state matter – they refuse to pay. So, by not telling us, or by refusing to entertain our request, in some way that is depriving us of our rights.”
Abdul Karim, who is state Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said the amount of taxes generated from land matters in the state was not minuscule.
“Why must the land taxes end up in the federal Finance Ministry. If it is recognised under the state, these have to return to the state. The amount of money just on land matters goes into hundreds of millions.”
He said the federal government must read between the lines and address the non-payment of the land taxes.
“That is why we are requesting for it (a representative in the IRB). They will be able to gauge on why we are adamant to have someone inside there.”
Last week, Abang Johari said he would fight to ensure that Sarawak has a representative in the IRB as it is a state right under the Federal Constitution.