SIBU: The people in the state can heave a sigh of relief now as they do not have to pay for Goods and Service Tax (GST) on all municipal and goverment services.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem in announcing this yesterday at a ceremony to end the collection of toll at Lanang Bridge, received a thunderous applause from those present.
The state is the fourth in the country after Johor, Penang and Terengganu where their governments are also absorving the GST on services of local authority and government departments.
“The (implementation of) GST causes prices of goods to go up which is beyond my control. This (GST) is a federal matter and not a state one,” he said.
Despite that Adenan said the state government was trying to find ways to lessen the burden faced by the people.
This include abolishing the collection of tolls at bridges in the state, which also include Asian Bridge, lowering ferry charge at Long Lama and Marudi ferries to just RM1 from RM6 per usage, and lowering the electricity tariff for residential and commercial users.
On the Lanang Bridge, he said the owner, executive chairman Tan Sri Ling Cheong Ho of Woodville Development Sdn Bhd not only agreed to waive the collection of toll but had also consented to donate the bridge staff quaarters for the setting up of One Malaysia Clinic.
“From noon today (yesterday), the gate will be opened. The barriers will be lifted. You can go as you please and don’t have to pay anything. It will be zero toll,” he added.
Reading a letter from Ling, Adenan said the former had immediately responded in stopping the toll when the matter was brought up “because of his love for Sarawak and his support to YAB Chief Minister”.
“This has nothing to do with DAP. There is no mention of DAP in his letter. We don’t want people (DAP) to get credit for the abolishment of toll collection,” he added.
On Igan Bridge, about 20km away from Lanang Bridge, he said the owner KTS Group of Companies which had not impose toll collection since the bridge was completed in 2001, had also assured him that it would remain toll free in the future.
At the ceremony, he also announced several allocations for this town. This included RM1mil each for upgrading of the town square and Taman Harmoni Food Court, RM5.7mil for upgrading of Jalan Tun Zaidi Ahmad Adruce, RM700,000 for Kampung Teku, RM920,000 for Kampung Jeriah and RM520,000 for Kampung Sentosa for drainage improvement work.