KUCHING, Sept 3 — The Sarawak government expects to receive about RM3 billion in state sales tax (SST) payment for last year after winning a recent court case against Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.
“Our calculation was based on a US$50 (RM207) per barrel of crude oil when computing the amount of SST, so we should get an estimated revenue of RM3 billion for 2019,” he said at the presentation of a cheque for the construction of the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) community hostel here.
He said the state government will also be receiving between RM600 million and RM700 million for oil and gas royalty from Petronas.
“With our 25 per cent equity in LNG 3 Plant in Bintulu, we will have a substantial amount of revenue from the oil and gas sector,” he said.
Abang Johari said he has in mind other sources to increase the state’s revenue but will not reveal them for now.
“I think my Cabinet colleagues know of these new sources of revenue that will give us financial strength in the future,” he said.
The chief minister stressed that the state government has to diversify and strengthen the state’s financial sources, saying that it cannot rely on other people for support.
“I must say here that when I became chief minister in 2017, I was worried because our operational cost was rising while our revenue was stagnant.
“If that was the case, there was no balance in our account between expenditure and revenue,” he added.
He said the state government has to find ways to expand revenue base, otherwise it cannot increase its development budget.
He added one of the ways was to impose SST on petroleum products exported from the state.
Construction work on the nine-story community hostel, costing RM16 million, will begin early next year and is expected to complete by 2023.
The hostel is to be built on a site next to DBNA building at Jalan Kumpang, off Jalan Ong Tiang Swee.
Among those present at the function were state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Sri Michael Manyin and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Far East, Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.