CM: Sarawak must have gas distribution authority as 60pct of gas reserves in Malaysia located in State waters

Aziz (left) presenting a souvenir to Abang Johari after the groundbreaking ceremony. Also seen is Dr Sim (right). Photo credit: Penerangan

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 23: The authority to regulate gas distribution is now in the hands of the State government, which is imperative given that 60 per cent of the gas reserves in Malaysia are in the waters of Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that this development along with the recognition of the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 that gives Sarawak’s fair share of rights over oil and gas will only bring more revenue to Sarawak.

“We are able to do this because we have a strong government that protects the interests of Sarawak and her people.

“In the last three years when I took over from (the late Pehin Sri) Adenan (Satem), I pursued this to the extent of bringing Petronas to the court. We won the case and through that, Petronas has to recognise our law — OMO 1958.

“The (Federal) government has to recognise that and so we have to coexist with the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) and OMO as far as the oil and gas industry is concerned in Sarawak. The win is not for me but for all Sarawakians,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the second Petros multi-fuel station at MJC Batu Kawa here today.

With Sarawak’s very own oil company Petros, Abang Johari said it will position Sarawak to be a major player in the oil and gas industry, not only in the exploration of oil and gas with other investors, but also continue to impose State Sales Tax (SST) for its petroleum-based products.

“Lately, we have signed a commercial agreement with Petronas where we have a say in the exploitation onshore and offshore. In the past, people promised 20 per cent (oil royalty); where got, that’s all talk only.

“There is a Malay saying that goes ‘sungai tidak berulu’, but when GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) gave it’s word, we will fight until the last breath and we have done it,” he added.

He stressed that Sarawak has managed to rake in RM7 billion in revenue especially through the imposition of SST and enabled the government to give out Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKKS) in the pandemic up to RM5.3 billion.

“No other state governments are giving (incentives) except for Sarawak. Apart from that, we also continue to develop our infrastructures including digital infrastructure throughout Sarawak.

“What we need is a stable and strong government with the people united and we move forward towards a new era. We are on the right track. The benefits will be for all Sarawakians,” he added.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hussain, Petros chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Datu Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel EPU were among those present. — DayakDaily