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– by Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 10: Sarawak has been demanding for an increase in oil royalty to 20 per cent because five per cent is just chicken feed, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
However, he pointed out that even though it was not wrong to assume Sarawak could opt for the easy way out, be contented and just enjoy the 20 per cent royalty, but it would be more rewarding for Sarawak to be able to be involved actively in the oil and gas industry.
“In this way, we can develop our engineering expertise, provide more job opportunities for our people and who knows one day, Sarawak through Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Berhad), can venture out from the shores of Sarawak like Petronas,” he said.
Sarawak, he added, has amended the Oil Mining Ordinance which was enacted in 1958 in order to strengthen her regulatory control over the state’s oil and gas.
“The late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem used to say ‘we do not want to be mere spectators in the oil and gas industry’,” he reminded.
Abang Johari highlighted this in his speech which was read out by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing at the Ocean Might Sdn Bhd (OMSB) ‘Load Out and Sail Away of EPCC D28 Phase 1 Topside’ ceremony at KKB Engineering in Muara Tebas here today.
“After all, the oil and gas are found just off shore Miri, Bintulu and Mukah,” he said.
Admitting that perhaps due to an oversight that Sarawak has never enforced the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO 1958), but now, Abang Johari reiterated that the state government wants to make sure the law and regulations are exercised on all parties involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak because the resources belong to Sarawakians.
“Petronas has brought us to court but the court has decided in our favour. We are not trying to disregard Petronas but merely trying to assert our rights and make sure we can gain from our oil and gas as the rightful owner of the resources for the sake of development in Sarawak,” he said.
“Petronas has shown willingness to discuss with us and I leave it to Petros and Petronas to negotiate in a professional manner,” he added.
The ceremony also celebrated OMSB’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Achievement of 280,000 manhours without Lost Time Injury (LTI).
OMSB, a subsidiary company of KKB Engineering Bhd, has completed the project in just nine months from the detailed design engineering to the Ready For Start-up stage to enable Petronas to achieve the first oil from D28 project in November this year.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, Petronas vice-president of Group Project Delivery and Technology Division Zakaria Kasah and KKB Group managing director Dato Kho Kak Beng were present. — DayakDaily