3 Reasons Why Sarawak Needs the 5% Petroleum Sales Tax

A walk down the passage of time, specifically over the last 10 years or so, brings about some surprising findings. For those of you needing a history lesson read on, here’s my take to the 3 incidents that “forced” the GPS government to impose the 5% sales tax on petroleum products out of Sarawak.

1.Between 2006 and 2008,  Taib’s family controlled Utama Banking Group, spending RM1.35 billion on acquisitions that never bore any fruit. This included:-

  • a 49% stake in Putrajaya Perdana Berhad for RM332 million and a further 51% stake for RM343 million 
  • a 45% stake in Loh and Loh Corp Bhd for RM124 million and a further 51% stake for RM205 million 
  • Unity Capital Partners for RM350 million

Eventually Taib’s family only got back RM456 million in 2010 after all these companies were sold off. It is pertinent to note Jho Low’s personal involvement in the above deals and was part of the massive fraud perpetuated on the Malaysian rakyat via 1MDB.

2. At the end of 2017, Naim which is headed by Taib’s cousin, Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi,  recorded a  loss of RM147mil – the first-ever in its 23-year history, from a profit of RM4mil previously. Net losses for FY17 came in at almost RM169mil.

3. On 16th October 2018, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, son of Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud lost his appeal on a RM30 million shariah divorce settlement against his former wife, Shahnaz Abdul Majid.

Over and above this, there is the RM800 million owed by Taib Mahmud’s sister and French husband to RHB for over 5 years. Sources say she has no intention to pay it back.

The drama being played up by the Sarawak government now is exactly the same script that played out in Peninsula Malaysia with Najib imposing the GST to cover up the 1MDB hole, the Tabung Haji hole, the Dewan Bandaraya land transaction hole and many more holes. The Petroleum Sales Tax (PST) is no different in its objective from the hated Goods & Services Tax (GST).

The fact that the state government has already incorporated the potential 5% tax in the state budget for 2019 is very worrying. They will look at using the excuse that federal government is not agreeing to the 5% tax as the reason for not being able to implement the projects. Meanwhile, they will use the remainder of the large budget to benefit themselves for the next state elections.

It looks like GE14 has presented some significant shocks to the political elite in Sarawak and the word on the street is that “the group” will be having  significant challenges in getting more money for themselves. To the rescue – 5% tax, which will potentially plug “missing funds”…..

Image credit goes to artist. Quite well done.



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