Penang calls for Putrajaya to return of 20pc taxes collected from state

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, May 29 — The Penang government has asked for a review of the federal allocation system in a bid to get 20 per cent of the taxes collected from the state returned.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Income Revenue Board (IRB) collects between RM7 billion to RM8 billion in taxes from Penang.

“This is only from IRB, other federal taxes could be more, so if IRB collects RM8 billion each year from Penang, 20 per cent of that is RM1.6 billion, this fund will give us a bigger space to administer the state,” he said in the state legislative assembly today in replying a question from Pakatan Harapan backbencher Gooi Hsiao-Leung, the Bukit Tengah representative.

Chow said that Penang may be at the forefront of the semiconductor sector to attract investors but other sectors such as property, transport, services and recreation also played a role to spur development in the state and needed more funds to carry out its various projects.

“What we are short of is that the fruits of development in the state were channelled to the federal government, so we need to review the federal allocation system for each state.

“We are thirsty for important funds to be ‘returned’ to Penang for us to implement programmes and projects,” he said.

He said if the federal government were to return 20 per cent of the taxes collected, then Penang could implement many more projects with the extra funds.

Gooi had asked about the steps taken by the state to collaborate with the federal government to take advantage of the national semiconductor strategic plan to develop local talents and small-medium enterprises in Penang.

Chow said the state has the platform to attract foreign investors to further expand its semiconductor sector.

“We are an important semiconductor hub and the national semiconductor strategic plan has a specific direction,” he said.