Jeffrey Kitingan tells Petronas to leave Sabah and Sarawak if it cannot pay 20 per cent royalties

Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 30: Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan hit out at the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government over Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remark that 20 per cent oil royalty for Sarawak and Sabah was “not workable”.

If the federal government refused to pay the promised 20 per cent oil royalties to the two Borneon states, then Petronas should get out of the two states, according to Jeffrey in a statement.

“Excuses will not solve anything. They will only create more discontent, dissatisfaction and resentment among Sabahans and Sarawakians. The leaders in Kuala Lumpur are fond of giving promises and false hopes to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, just to get their support.

“Once they get what they want, they will forget about you. This is the story of Sabah in Malaysia,” Jeffrey added.

Dr Mahathir last Thursday was reported as saying that the government had realised that giving 20 per cent to the two states would mean that Petronas would no longer be the international oil company that it is.

“So we have to appeal to the Sabah and Sarawak governments that it is really not workable,” he said at a dialogue session with fund managers at the JP Morgan headquarters in New York.

Jeffrey however refused to believe that paying the royalty would make Petronas bankrupt, as the company would only have to come up with another 10 per cent.

“The other 5 per cent can come from the 5 per cent cash royalty payment that is paid to the federal government, who shouldn’t be paid royalties as it is not the resource owner,” he pointed out.

He said the alternative was to pay Petronas profits to the oil producing states as the federal government was already collecting corporate and petroleum income tax from Petronas and international oil companies, adding that Petronas contributed about RM60 billion a year to the federal government.

If this were to be reduced by the 20 per cent payment to the country’s four oil producing states of Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Terengganu, Jeffrey said, the federal government should learn to spend within its means. — DayakDaily