Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh

KUCHING: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s claim that Sarawak government has settled for RM2 billion instead of RM6.775 billion with Petronas is ‘highly erroneous’ and ‘grossly questionable’.

According to five Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) branches in Sibu, Wong had misled the people of Sarawak with his analysis, which they alleged were based on the wrong interpretation of statistics.

“Based on documents which we have perused, particularly the State Budget speeches of the Sarawak chief minister for years 2019 and 2020, RM6.775 billion is actually the total sum of State Sales Tax (SST) for two years of petroleum products as stipulated clearly in the Budget speeches – which can be found respectively on paragraph 41 page 13 of 2019 Budget speech and paragraph 41 page 21 of 2020 Budget speech,” they said in a statement.

They pointed out that the summary of the derivation of RM6.775 billion was RM3.897 billion in 2019 and RM2.878 billion in 2020.

“It is therefore crystal clear that in the chief minister’s Budget speeches for 2019 and 2020, RM6.775 billion was the two-year SST for petroleum products to be collected from all petroleum companies such as Petronas, Shell, etc,” they explained.

They said that RM2 billion was for the SST payable by Petronas to the state government for the year 2019.

“Wong has been the Finance minister of the Sarawak government for 15 years, and yet he still made this sort of unforced error which makes the people of Sarawak sceptical about his motives,” the SUPP branches said.

They noted that Wong had become a full-time politician in 1987 when he first represented SUPP contesting in Igan constituency, where he lost by a mere 27 votes to David Tiong Chiong Chu of Kumpulan Maju.

Since then, he had been the assemblyman for Bawang Assan for six terms, starting in 1991 and spanning a period of nearly 29 years.

In 1996, Wong became a full minister representing SUPP after former SUPP president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Wong Soon Kai lost the state election unexpectedly.

“Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh hence now is the longest-serving ADUN (elected representative) in the political history of Sibu.

“Being an ADUN since 1991, the people of Sibu have the right to ask what are the important achievements in terms of economy, employment opportunities, foreign investment, infrastructure, and so on which Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh has brought to Sibu,” said the SUPP branches.

Last week, Wong had claimed that the state government should have collected RM6.775 billion from Petronas and should not have settled for RM2 billion.