MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) today said the recent resignation of Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin as chief executive officer of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) should have happened a long time ago, said Chemweek.
Its president Lina Soo said he was a reason for Petronas not willing to pay the 5 per cent state sales (SST) imposed on the import of petroleum products in Sarawak.
"He had said in public that Sarawak had no legal competence to demand the sales tax and had also opposed demands from Sarawak and neighbouring Sabah for bigger royalty payments," Soo said when asked by Malay Mail to comment on the resignation of Wan Zulkiflee as Petronas chief executive officer recently.
It was reported that Wan Zulkiflee resigned after a disagreement with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over a plan to pay USD470 million (RM2 billion) in sales tax to Sarawak.
Petronas had been fighting Sarawak’s demand for the sales tax in court before the two parties announced a settlement last month — although Sarawak later said it would continue its legal action until an agreement is final.
Soo said it is ludicrous that Petronas had no qualms paying a royalty, dividends, corporate tax and extending cash bailouts to the federal government during its 44 years’ of existence, but refused to pay higher oil royalty and SST to Sarawak.
As MRC wrote before, in early May, 2020, Petronas Chemicals (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia’s leading petrochemicals player, reported a drop in first-quarter sales and earnings citing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The sharp decline in petrochemical product prices following the outbreak of COVID-19, the deepening industry downcycle as crude oil prices collapsed due to the OPEC+ fallout, and the recessionary global economic outlook have hurt results, the company says.
We remind that PRefChem, owned by Petronas and Saudi Aramco (50:50), received commercial ethylene and propylene at its new cracker in Pengerang (Malaysia,) on 13 September, 2019.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the firs four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.
Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.