Chong: Now good time to ask for more oil, gas royalty

KUCHING: State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen claims that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem
has failed in the bid to request for an increase in oil and gas royalty from five per cent to 20 per cent from the federal
He said the justification of falling world oil price, which had delayed the so-called negotiations with the federal
government, was merely an excuse by Adenan whom he said had failed to carry out the motion passed by the State
Legislative Assembly to obtain the 20 per cent oil and gas royalty.
He also said as long as the state Barisan Nasional (BN) was part of the federal BN, it (state BN) would continue to be marginalised by the federal side.
“How long does Adenan think that Sarawakians can continue to be fooled by the discrimination and marginalisation policies of the BN?” Chong told a press conference at the state DAP headquarters here yesterday.
He said the state BN should quit from the federal BN and exert its position as a ‘king maker’.
Chong said with the huge drop in oil price, this would be the best opportunity to get the 20 per cent royalty.
“With the international oil price now at US$28 per barrel, there is no better time for Sarawak to get the 20 per cent gas royalty because from the federal government’s point of view, an increase of five to 20 per cent royalty is not a huge reduction to the national coffer if the oil price is US$100 per barrel,” he added.
The federal government had also received a windfall through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which he said was more than enough to compensate the 15 per cent reduction in oil and gas royalty.
From Sarawak’s point of view, the low oil price was an opportunity to request for the royalty increase.
“This is because with oil prices having dropped 30 per cent from its highest point, the five per cent royalty collection is barely one third of the amount of royalty collection (recorded) during the heyday of high oil price,” he added.
-- theborneopost January 20, 2016, Wednesday