Sabah is not planning to reduce the tax on crude palm oil anytime soon, although the tax is among the highest in the country, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said this when asked about the matter during question time at the State Legislative Assembly meeting on Dec 7.
He was responding to a supplementary question by Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe, who also asked about the total tax revenue collected from petroleum products in the state since 2020.
He also said that the budget allocated for every ministry and purpose were based on the government's current financial abilities, but said anyone with emergency fund proposals could send in suggestions for the state to consider.
Hajiji said he was aware that the allocations needed by various ministries in Sabah exceeded the funding announced, but the distribution had to be what the state can afford.
Earlier, state assistant finance minister Jasni Daya, said that Sabah had collected some RM1.385bil petroleum tax as of Nov 28 this year after the sales tax was imposed in April 2020.
Phoong had also asked about fiscal or financial policies implemented by the government of the day.
He said there was an increase in tax revenue but many allocations were reduced for many ministries, and there was no increased funding for flood mitigation and water crisis issues.
Hajiji replied that there was still room for proposals and suggestions as to where emergency funds could be distributed or allocated.
A total of 11 of 66 planned questions were answered, with queries varying from assemblymen hoping to get clarification and solutions for issues like the water shortage in Beaufort, measures taken to ensure that no one is left out from enjoying basic telecommunication and Internet access, as well as Sabah's poverty rate.
Questions on quota for the people's housing projects and its challenges, as well as the success rate in helping small and medium enterprises survive during the COVID-19 pandemic were also raised.