Press Statement by Jimmy Wong in Sabah on Thursday, 18th December 2008:

Im not being mischievous, misguided 

Sri Tanjung Assemblyman Jimmy Wong said he is not being mischievous and misguided over the oil palm issue affecting smallholders.

He said it is State Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Yusoff Kassim who was misguided and do not understand what is going on.

Yusoff said the Government had highlighted in the recent State Assembly Budget 2009 sitting that the 7.5% Sabah Sales Tax was imposed on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) only and this means the sale of Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) was not affected. Ask the planters who produce FFB and they will tell you Yusoff is totally wrong. The sale tax does affects planters income because its deducted in their sale receipt, he said.

If really the state CPO sales tax is being paid by millers or CPO producers, today I can guarantee all the millers would have stop operating or close shop, he said.

He said the special committee formed by the state government should immediately check or call the millers and ask them if what he (Jimmy) said is true and if the committee cannot do this then the committee is for what.

The State government should ask CPO producers (millers) to make a stand and my challenge to the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman to prove me wrong is still on, he said.

Jimmy added that by stating that he (Jimmy) is mischievous, then Yusoff also mean the planters are also being mischievous as they had handed a memo to the State government regarding the CPO sales tax.

I would also like to inform the State government that Sarawak had already waived their CPO sales tax to help their oil palm industry to overcome the economic crisis. Here is Sabah the government says it is doing everything to help the oil palm sectors but at the same time reluctant to review the Sabah sale tax on CPO. This 7.5% Sabah sale tax will be the killing point on the planters and millers, he pointed out. 

* Jimmy Wong Sze Phin, DAP State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong