By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, May 19: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu information chief Datuk Idris Buang says fighting for Sarawak’s rights remains the main agenda of the party.
He believed that this vision was shared by other component parties of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) including Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
“Sarawak’s MA63 (the Malaysia Agreement 1963) Consultation Committee made up by both ruling and opposition will meet and discuss on the issue of Petronas and State Sales Tax (SST) where they will be taking into consideration of political inputs, advice from State Attorney General Chamber and economic experts in line with Sarawak’s rights enshrined under MA63 and Sarawak’s position within the context of federalism.
“Our fight to demand the return of Sarawak’s rights is still ongoing. But we have to give the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) government some leeway as we are all busy fighting Covid-19 and steering the nation away from the pandemic and its aftermath.
“There may be a delay due to the change of government and Covid-19, but there should be no second-guessing the fact that GPS will continue to fight for Sarawak’s rights until all rights under MA63 are being given back to us,” Idris told DayakDaily.
Idris thus held that former Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh who is now Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) has been over-judgmental over the Petronas and SST issue despite adequate explanations has been given.
“There were ministerial statements explaining that the negotiations with Petronas have yet to be finalised and attesting that Sarawak is not sacrificing its oil and gas rights which are safeguarded by the OMO (Oil Mining Ordinance 1958).
“How can we file Petronas the invoice for SST if we had given up OMO or our oil and gas rights and given in to PDA74 (Petroleum Development Act 1974)? It is based on OMO that Petronas gave in and agreed to make good the 5 per cent.
“This is sheer common sense. So it is quite puzzling that YB Soon Koh, who was in the core of the Sarawak government and being part of the top executive body that formulates policies and governance as well as the procedure for years, came out with some accusations that are profoundly lacking accuracy.
“He used to be part of the system for which he used to defend vehemently in terms of its effectiveness, governance and procedure. Why the sudden over-judgemental attitude? Is he undergoing a ‘cultural shock’ as a new opposition member? Had he ignored all the stated facts to sound like a new broom opposition and play to the gallery in order to get attention,” Idris asked.
The Muara Tuang assemblyman said for the many days when Sarawak was under Covid-19 outbreak, many Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives were busy on the ground, trying to make sure that the basic needs of less fortunate groups in their constituencies be taken care of.
“We have no time to indulge in this kind of rhetoric. GPS is now trying to help the rakyat to get out of Covid-19, not only in terms of health but also its devastating economic impact,” said Idris. —DayakDaily