Cover Story: A taxing uncertainty

‘Diplomatic discussions…’ What, we have a Federal ambassador in Sarawak?

Dateline 2019-12-20, The Edge:

THE past year would have been one of redemption of sorts for the Malaysian oil and gas (O&G) industry. There are more upstream activities and players are making up for lost time after prices started to stabilise following the severe downturn that began in 2015.

But just weeks before the year ends, one issue is threatening to put a dent in the sector’s business prospects in the country’s top oil-and-gas producing state, Sarawak.

Last month, what started off as diplomatic discussions over Sarawak’s share of oil revenue, under the broader Malaysian Agreement 1963, escalated into a lawsuit by the state government, which is claiming billions of ringgit in unpaid sales tax from national oil corporation, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas).

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