Withdraw suit, pay up RM1.3 bln

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State’s hope for kinder PM

MIRI: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) congratulated the Sarawak legal team of State Attorney General Datuk Talat Mahmood and Datuk Seri JC Fong for their effort in the ongoing suits against Petronas.

SUPP secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew in a statement yesterday said Sarawakians appreciated the effort of the state legal team in view of the Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision on Friday to dismiss the appeal by Petronas to recuse Judicial Commissioner Christopher Chin from hearing the civil suit brought by the Comptroller of State Sales Tax and Sarawak Government to recover RM1.3 billion of unpaid State Sales Tax from Petronas.

“SUPP is of the opinion that the perception of the majority of the people of Sarawak is that Petronas is intentionally delaying the actual discussion and argument on the merits of the case and, in so doing, intentionally to derail the Sarawak budgets passed in our Dewan Undangan for the year 2019 and 2020,” Ting said.

Ting further said, “These approved budgets are meant for the development of our rural areas and for the people of Sarawak as a whole. Indeed, the money must be paid to Sarawak government for it to develop Sarawak with the primary objective of raising the standard of living of our people.”

Ting said the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was most unkind to Sarawak as Petronas started the first suit against the Sarawak government on June 4, 2018, “not even a month after the May 9, 2018 14th general election (GE14)”.

“The majority of the people of Sarawak are fully united with the Sarawak government in this legal journey,” he opined.

“They are unhappy, greatly disappointed and perhaps even angry with Petronas, and more so with the previous PH government, for commencing this case,” he added.

Ting said now that PH is no longer the government, SUPP suggests that newly installed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin call Petronas for a briefing on the merits of the two ongoing cases.

Ting said SUPP is of the opinion that the best solution for these two cases would be to allow for a consent judgement in the sum of RM1.3 billion in favour of the Sarawak government entered against Petronas and the suit initiated by Petronas against the state withdrawn henceforth.

“SUPP believes the majority of the people of Sarawak would want to see a quick resolution of the above-mentioned cases.

“Sarawakians hope that the new prime minister will be kinder and fairer to the people of Sarawak compared to the previous PH government,” he added.

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