Oil royalty: Sabah, Sarawak must ‘synchronize’ push

Friday, 23 May 2014

According to Jeffrey Kitingan a hike in oil royalty will see Sabah taking in RM6 billion and Sarawak RM10 billion in addition to land rentals on Petronas.

KOTA KINABALU: Bingkor assemblyman Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has urged the Sabah Government to gather its political will and emulate Sarawak’s call for an increase in oil royalty, besides pushing for a review of the Petroleum Agreement signed on June 14.

He said synchronizing with Sarawak on the oil royalty call would make a stronger case for Borneo, especially since both Sabah and Sarawak are BN strongholds which made it possible for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to remain in power.

He contended that the oil royalty resolution should have been tabled and passed at the last Sabah Legislative Assembly session had it not been for the reluctance of Chief Minister Musa Aman.

“My motion was flatly rejected by the Speaker citing failure to adhere to procedure and time, even though it was discussed and submitted two weeks earlier.

“This is the difference between Sabah and Sarawak. The Sarawak government and CM can decide in the common interest of Sarawak being ruled by local political parties; while the Sabah government and CM must decide in the interest of Umno the controlling party/ in the interest of the federal government of Malaya,” he lamented.

Nonetheless, he believed it is still not too late for the Sabah Government to reconsider such a move, citing that other oil producing states like Trengganu and Kelantan are yet to make their stand.

Kitingan, who is also the chairman of Star Sabah, also reminded that an increase in oil royalty to 20% would bring Sabah between RM5 and RM6 billion in income instead of the current RM1.4 billion.

He said for Sarawak, an increase in oil royalty will bring in around RM10 billion.

“And this does not include additional income on land rentals that can be imposed on Petronas.

“Sabah and Sarawak should move in tandem as quickly as possible to leverage their “kingmaker” role by ensuring that the increase in royalty should also be accompanied by Board representation and a stake in the national corporation,” he said.


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