Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (above) said today that Sarawak is looking at producing hydrogen and other commodities to derive revenue for the state's coffers through the imposition of a sales tax.
He said that under the Sarawak Constitution, a sales tax, such as the 5% imposed on petroleum products starting from Jan 1 this year, is not confined to one commodity only.
"For instance, we are able to produce hydrogen, another commodity apart from gas and oil, because if you have the volume then you have more revenue.
"It is premature to say now, but we have a direction to increase our revenue, we will definitely identify (these commodities)," Abang Johari said after attending SACOFA Sdn Bhd's Gawai Raya 2019 event in Kuching.
Asked if the state government would consider pepper as one of the commodities to be imposed the sales tax, he said although Sarawak is a major pepper producer, there is a need to look further into the market first.
At present, certain incentives are being provided for those involved in pepper farming in the state, he said.
Yesterday, he urged Sarawak Energy Bhd to explore new products such as hydrogen and oxygen to be marketed overseas to increase the state's revenue.
At present, Sarawak is the biggest producer of clean energy, harnessed from its hydroelectric dams, including the Bakun and Batang Ai dams.
Sarawak is also poised to become a world exporter of hydrogen following the launch of Southeast Asia's first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station by Abang Johari in Kuching on May 27.