Adenan Satem is reducing himself to gutter politics by making baseless accusation that the Opposition is scoffing the fight for autonomy. Such accusation by Adenan is merely to try to cover up his failure in getting the Federal BN to agree to more autonomy for Sarawak.

Adenan Satem is reducing himself to gutter politics by making baseless accusation that the Opposition is scoffing the fight for autonomy.  Such accusation by Adenan is merely to try to cover up his failure in getting the Federal BN to agree to more autonomy for Sarawak.

To the contrary of the accusation of Adenan, it is the Sarawak DAP who has initiated and set the agenda for the autonomy movement when we launched our “2014 Bintulu Declaration – Towards Equal Partners”.
Amongst the things that we mentioned in the Bintulu Declaration are State autonomy in Education, Health, Internal security and Taxation.   

The most important aspect of the autonomy is the autonomy in Taxation where we advocates for 20% oil and gas royalties and 50% of all taxes collected in Sarawak to be returned to the State Government.

Despite being the State Government of the day, and having the full support of the Opposition in Dewan Undangan Negeri, the State Government has, thus far, failed to get the Federal Government to agree to the increase of oil and gas royalties from the existing 5% to 20%.

Adenan has totally failed to capitalise on the Sarawak BN’s “king-maker” position in National BN.  At present, there are a total 222 Members of Parliament in Dewan Rakyat, out of which, BN holds 134 seats.  Of the 134 BN MPs, Sarawak BN holds 25. 

Without the 25 Sarawak BN MPs, BN will only have 109 MPs (without taking into consideration the possibility of 22 Sabah BN MPs following suit by withdrawing from National BN).  The National BN will become a minority Government if Sarawak BN pulls out from the National BN.

Yet, with such king-maker position, Adenan and the Sarawak Government have failed to secure the 20% oil and gas royalties from the Federal Government.

The increase of 5% to 20% oil and gas royalties does not involve any change in the Federal Constitution.  It only needs a cabinet decision to carry out this increase of royalty.  Therefore, Adenan’s excuse about needing more time to look into the legal and constitutional aspects of the autonomy sought is totally not applicable in the issue of oil and gas royalties.

Negotiation has gone on between the State Government with the Federal Government for more than 18 months, yet such a simple administrative decision cannot be carried out. 

This exposes the lack of political will determination on the part of the State BN on this issue.  And Adenan cannot do anything about it except to baselessly put the blame on the Opposition to distract the issue.

20-1-2016
Chong Chieng Jen
MP for Bandar Kuching & ADUN for Kota Sentosa
DAP Sarawak Chairman