Petronas refutes report on Sarawak state payment


PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has refuted a report by Reuters over the weekend regarding Sarawak sales tax payment, describing it as speculative without any basis.

“Petronas would like to categorically refute the report by Reuters on June 26, 2020, with the headline of ‘Malaysian energy giant’s board at odds with Prime Minister (PM) over payment to Sarawak state’,” the state oil firm said in a statement last Saturday.

“The alleged conflict between the PM, Petronas and its shareholder is mere speculative reporting without any basis whatsoever,” it added.

Petronas also reiterated its stance that in line with the joint statement issued on May 8, 2020, Petronas and its shareholder is currently in negotiations with the Sarawak state government to achieve appropriate commercial resolution.

“We remain committed in working closely with our Sarawak counterparts and our stakeholders to reach the best outcome on this matter.

“Our aim is to achieve a resolution that will lead to a more stable and conducive business and investment environment for the oil and gas industry, which will be especially important given the current market challenges,” it said.

Last week, Petronas won time to review the terms of a settlement over the payment of sales tax to Sarawak, further delaying a deal that was made public last month.

The Court of Appeal awarded the state oil company an adjournment on its appeal against a High Court’s decision to award Sarawak a payment of backdated sales tax on oil products. The court fixed Aug 3 as the next mention date.

Sarawak filed a lawsuit against Petronas in November last year for unpaid fuel sales tax amounting to some RM2 billion. The state said Petronas was the only energy company operating in the state that had not paid a 5% sales tax imposed on Jan 1, 2019.