Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s position as an assemblyman and former second finance minister does not put him in a privileged position to seek personal requests on the income and expenditure of the state, said Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Youth and Sports Minister said this in response to Wong’s recent demand for the state government to disclose the amount of State Sales Tax (SST) paid by all oil companies to explain how the state could collect RM3.897 billion in revenue for last year.

In his statement, Abdul Karim said Wong, being a veteran politician and former member of the State Cabinet, should know that the correct process and procedure for the state government to reveal its income and expenditure is through the tabling of the State Budget during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

“We are only halfway through the year 2020 and all collection of taxes including (SST) in the oil and gas industry has not yet been finalised.

“The State Budget will be tabled in the next DUN sitting and Wong has all the time until then to wield his privilege as an assemblyman to question how much SST has the industry collected in the state,” he told New Sarawak Tribune when contacted yesterday.

Abdul Karim emphasised that Wong’s seniority in the DUN does not mean that he would be given a special privilege to demand answers on the state government’s affairs such as taxes collected.

He added that it was an unfortunate situation for Wong to forgo the recent DUN sitting held on May 11.

“He could have made use of that avenue to ask questions pertaining to the details of the amicable settlement between the state government and Petronas as well as on payments collected from SSTs by the various oil and gas companies in the state.

“The media is not the place to debate and seek this information and I’m sure he knows that,” he said.