Efforts to reclaim Sarawak’s rights still on track; breakthrough in oil and gas sector soon, says state legal advisor

Dato Sri JC Fong

By Peter Sibon and Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 12: The hope of Sarawak to regain its full rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is still on track despite the hiccups that led to the Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to fail on Tuesday (April 9), said Sarawak legal advisor Dato Sri JC Fong.

“I want to do the real thing. I will finish it very soon because I want to achieve the real thing regarding all that have been eroded, such as our resources, legislative authority, all these things,” Fong told DayakDaily at his office here today.

When asked about the time frame, he replied: “Well (Prime Minister Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) said we must finish by June. So very good.”

On a related issue, Fong, who is Sarawak’s former Attorney General, revealed that there would be a breakthrough in the oil and gas sector soon.

“I can tell you that there will be a breakthrough in the oil and gas. Can’t tell you what it is because it will go through a few steps. But we and Petronas have agreed on certain things. But the thing needs to be approved by the higher authority,” he disclosed.

On the five per cent sales tax imposed by Sarawak since January this year on petroleum products meant for export, Fong said there was no evidence it would affect the marketability of these products in the international markets.

“The assessment has been done, but there is some deferred payment. We agreed for them to pay on the second half instead of every three months. They appealed and the chief minister agreed to defer. 

“In other word, you are charged but we give you a grace period to pay. The policy is now in implementation,” added Fong.

Sarawak is expected to earn some RM3.9 billion from this sales tax annually. — DayakDaily