Dr Sim: Once Petros up and running, oil royalty will not be an issue anymore

Dr Sim (seated third from right) hosts SUPP's Chinese New Year 2018 open house which saw the attendance of Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (seated second from right) and Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib (rightmost), accompanied by other state dignitaries.

KUCHING, Feb 16: Once Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) is up and running, it would help the state earn more revenue from its oil and gas to a point that there will be no more question of royalties.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said instead of the opposition’s futile effort to fight for 20 per cent oil and gas royalty from the federal government, the state government has once again proved that it is not just talk.

“That is what our current Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the state Barisan Nasional (BN) has done. We are exercising our rights based on the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Constitution. We are no longer just talking about the 20 per cent royalty.

“By setting up Petros, we will be able to do it, unlike the opposition who just makes noise,” he told reporters during Sarawak United Peoples’ Party’s (SUPP) Chinese New Year 2018 open house at its headquarters here this morning.

Dr Sim (front row, centre, yellow shirt) is seen during a photo op with Abang Johari (front row, sixth from right) and deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (front row, fourth from right) and Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing (front row, third from right) during SUPP’s Chinese New Year 2018 open house in Kuching.

Dr Sim explained that since Petros now has the power to issue licences to prospectors including Petronas, Sarawak will have greater control over its oil and gas resources as well as who the prospectors award their contracts to.

“We (BN) have always said, what is ours is ours. And it is proven with evidence. Abang Johari knows what is best for Sarawak,” he said, referring to Abang Johari’s recent statement during a live interview telecast on a national television channel on Tuesday.

Abang Johari had said Petronas must obtain a prospecting licence if it were to operate in the state, and also said while the federal constitution stipulates that the development of mineral resources falls under federal purview, it is however subject to item 2(c) of the state list when it comes to Sarawak.

According to item 2(c), permits and licences for prospecting for mines, mining leases and certificates are state matters. The need for these state permits and certificates come under the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

“This means the state has the power to prospect and mine for oil and gas in the state just like Petronas,” said Abang Johari.

He said if companies like Petronas want to prospect for oil and gas in the state, they will be subject to item 2(c) of the federal constitution and the licence must be issued by the state.

“I work within the perimeters of the law and the federal constitution is supreme law,” said Abang Johari.

In his Chinese New Year 2018 message, Abang Johari said within two years, Petros would be working alongside other companies including Petronas.

He stressed that Petros would not just be another production sharing contract (PSC) company but will operate alongside Petronas and play an active part in the downstream activities of the oil and gas industry in the state. — DayakDaily