Bar Petronas execs from entering Sarawak to end royalty impasse, state DAP tells Adenan
Sarawak DAP chief today suggested that Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to use the state's immigration powers to bar Petronas executives and managers from entering the state to break the deadlock on demand for an increase in oil and gas royalty.
Chong Chieng Jen, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, also urged Adenan to cancel work permits of those employed in the offices of Petronas, Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) and their subsidiary companies in the state.
In urging the state to resort to strong arm tactics against the national oil and gas company, Chong said that the state “needs to use more drastic and harsher means” to push its demands for the increase in royalty.
He said that barring key people from the peninsula, who were running Petronas' operations in the state and kicking out those who were already here, would put "the bite where it hurts".
"This will put a halt to its operation and production," he said, when debating on the governor's address in the state assembly.
Chong said that the barring and cancellation of the work permits should be in place “until the matter is finally sorted out”.
"It is better to put a halt to the production than to allow the continuous extraction when we only get 5% royalty.
"After all, if the operation is stopped, the oil and gas will still remain in our soil for future extraction.
"We may suffer temporary loss of part of our revenue, but in long term, there is no loss to Sarawak.”
He said that Sarawak had in the past prohibited religious bigots and extremists from entering Sarawak and now should prohibit "robbers plundering our resources" on to the list.
"The chief minister is hitting brick walls on this matter and has to openly seek help of the prime minister so that Petronas will accede to our claim," Chong said, in reference to Adenan's admission last Friday at Petronas' outstanding vendor awards event in Kuching that the state had “not made any improvement” in the royalty negotiation.
Adenan had also said that he would have to speak to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to break the impasse.
Chong retorted by telling Adenan not to be so naïve about the so-called “PM’s help”.
Petronas, Chong said, is a company controlled by the federal government and “if the prime minister agrees to accede to our demand for the 20% oil and gas royalty, there is no way that Petronas cannot agree to it”.
In May last year, the state assembly unanimously agreed to make a request to the federal government to raise the royalty from the current 5% to 20%.
The agreement that was thrashed out was a historic first for the assembly.
With an impasse in talks, Chong said that the state should ditch the “nice and cordial approach” as it is “getting us no way”.