By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 28: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing says as oil and gas in Sarawak belong to Sarawak, the state has the right to decide how much it wants to share with Petronas, and not the other way round.
He believed Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s failure to understand this was the reason they failed to protect Sarawak’s interests.
“PH Sarawak still doesn’t understand. Oil and gas is Sarawak’s property. We give to Petronas and not Petronas gives to us.
“PH failure to understand this is their failure to protect Sarawak’s interests,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, in a statement today.
He emphasised he would not discuss the percentage of oil and gas to be given to Sarawak, pertaining to the upcoming 2019 federal budget, which will be tabled on Nov 2, 2018.
Masing, who is Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, also refused to comment on the federal budget until after it is tabled.
“I will only comment on the federal budget once it is tabled. I won’t discuss the federal budget based on assumptions.
“Regarding the percentage on oil and gas, I will not touch too. Why should I discuss the percentage of oil and gas given to Sarawak? Oil and gas are Sarawak’s assets — 100 per cent.
“Instead, PH MPs should decide how much we give to Petronas and not the other way round,” he said, in response to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s statement.
Chong told a press conference today that PH Sarawak shall strive to ensure that in the forthcoming national budget, Sarawak and Sabah would get 30 per cent of the development expenditure as promised in the PH manifesto.
On oil royalties, Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said PH had proposed an increase of 15 per cent to finance education and healthcare in Sarawak, with full autonomy given to Sarawak government.
However, the Sarawak government had turned it down. — DayakDaily