KOTA KINABALU September 19, 2012: The Federation of Sabah Manufacturers (FSM) is calling for subsidy for the industries in Sabah, either by giving incentives or tax exemption.
Its president, Datuk Seri Panglima Wong Khen Thau, said Sabah industries had always been at a disadvantage since we have the cabotage policy.
“We are not saying that the government has to abolish the cabotage (policy),” he pointed out. At the same time the government should also assist and look into the interest of the local industries in Sabah.
“If shipping companies can enjoy 30 years of tax exemption, we don’t mind to ask the government to give us 15 years of tax exemption for Sabah industries.”
Wong said this when commenting on the upcoming budget and what he expected from the budget.
He pointed out that giving companies in Sabah tax exemptions would enable them to be on par with their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia, as the non-level playing field made it hard for industries in Sabah to compete with the industries in Peninsular.
He stressed that this should be looked into particularly when the government was talking about 1Malaysia and being a high income economy by 2020.
“Even if the state government does well financially, it doesn’t mean that the state industries don’t need help.
“But this only the federal government can help, especially the federal treasury,” he said.
Wong also said the coming budget would be an election budget for the government, and he expected goodies for all.
Nonetheless, he hoped the government could review corporate budgets as most countries, Thailand included, have been reducing corporate tax for companies.
“The government should look seriously into (corporate budgets) if they want to encourage more foreign investments to come into Malaysia.
“On the personal income tax side, I hope the government can consider some kind of relaxation on that aspect,” he said.