The Sarawak government under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will not go bankrupt as it knows how to find money and no longer relies on Kuala Lumpur, said Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.
Abang Johari (photo) told the delegates at the GPS conference today that the state government has its own way of getting money and one of them is taxation.
“We have our own way, we have our own resources, we have our own value system. If you study economics you will know what is taxation. Taxation is an instrument for the country to get revenue and it is not fixed, it is flexible.
“We have the right to impose a tax in the constitution. Because we have the resources, we impose a tax on export products produced in Sarawak, including oil and gas,” he said as reported by the Borneo Post.
He noted that GPS has “graduated” from the 56 years of being under Barisan Nasional, which was defeated in last year's general election.
Earlier, he told about 5,000 delegates that within the first four years of the 11th Malaysia plan, which ends in December 2020, Sarawak spent RM37.1 billion of the state's funds to develop the state while the federal government only spent RM20.4 billion over the same period.
He said based on the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng's argument, Sarawak would have gone bankrupt.
“But today, we still have RM32 billion reserve in the bank. We are not bankrupt. Next year and in the following five years under the 12th Malaysia Plan, and under GPS, we will not be bankrupt.
“We will develop our infrastructure, we will develop our trunk roads, we develop our bridges as announced before this," he said.
In June this year, Lim had argued that Sarawak would go bankrupt in three years as its reserves of RM30 billion would be exhausted on the state's annual budget of RM11 billion.
In response, Abang Johari had dismissed the claims, saying that Sarawak has income from dividends, royalties, premiums and taxes.
"This year I will implement a five percent tax on oil and gas exports which will earn Sarawak RM3 billion," Abang Johari said.