DAP: Oil royalty decision is with cabinet, not Petronas

Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen says BN backbencher chairman should have saved his stern words demanding oil royalty for federal ministers, not Petronas.

KUCHING: Sarawak BN backbencher chairman Abdullah Saidol chose the wrong target to issue his demand for a higher oil royalty, says state DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen today.
He said the decision-making body on Sarawak’s oil royalty was the federal cabinet, not the national oil firm.
In a statement yesterday, Abdullah warned Petronas it should show a “more convincing level of seriousness when treating Sarawak’s demands” for a higher oil royalty.
“There are many remarks, though I’m not sure whether they are true or not, about senior officials in Petronas who ridicule our issues with Petronas. If Petronas continues to behave or act without a sign of respect for us, why should we be too lenient with them?” the Semop assemblyman had stated.
Abdullah was expressing support for Sarawak Assistant Housing Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who cautioned Petronas against taking the state for granted.
“The whole matter about Sarawak’s demand for 20% oil royalty has now become a joke,” Chong said at the party’s state headquarters here today.
“Abdullah was actually skirting the issue and issuing warnings to the wrong people.
“The first demand (for higher oil royalty) was already made by the state government after a motion was unanimously passed three years ago in the state assembly.”
The state Barisan Nasional (BN) had supported a motion in 2014 by Chong calling for the oil royalty to be increased from 5% to 20%.
The late chief minister, Adenan Satem, had then publicly acknowledged the need to give Sarawak a higher share of oil revenue.
Last year, Adenan eased-up on his demands in light of the world oil price slump but said the state government would pursue the matter later.
However, Adenan died on Jan 11 from heart failure.
“After Adenan passed away, there hasn’t been any result.
“In fact, when Abang Johari (Openg) took the chief minister’s office, one of the first statements he made was that he hoped the federal government will compensate us in other forms,” Chong said.
“He was basically telling Sarawakians there will be no further demands made for the 20% oil royalty.
“And now you have Abdullah Saidol giving warnings to Petronas, which is not even the decision-making body.”
Chong said he did not expect the chief minister to hold further talks with the federal government on the oil royalty issue.
“The only way forward is to have a government change. It is our Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to return the 20% oil royalty, regardless of whether the state government is under BN or otherwise. This is our election pledge.”
freemalaysiatoday April 19,2017