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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Sept 24: “One who cannot dance but blames that the floor is tilted” is how Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi described Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii for what the former termed as “baseless allegations” over the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) issues in Parliament yesterday.
Nanta rebuked the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak representative, saying that he failed to delve into the true essence of the speech by Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat until missing out on the success of the MA63 negotiations mentioned.
“The superior man blames himself, the inferior man blames others. The people of Sarawak often ask: all this while, what are the contributions of Pakatan Harapan (PH) for Sarawak during their 22 months in government?
“Where are the sweet promises that have been given to the people of Sarawak? Where is the manifesto for Sarawak as promised? Where is the promise in the PH manifesto to return 50 per cent tax collected in Sarawak?
“Which MA63 spirit that PH negotiated and successfully implemented for Sarawak? What did YB Kuching (Dr Yii) fight for the people of Sarawak when YB Kuching had the opportunity to do so when YB was in the ruling government and had the power to make changes?
“All were empty (talks). All were false. Don’t throw the stone and hide the hand,” he said in Parliament on Wednesday.
Nanta, who is Kapit MP, stressed that the close collaboration between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) governments had resulted in various important things achieved and implemented.
“As the KPDNHEP Minister and MP from Sarawak, I represent all GPS MPs in the Dewan Rakyat as well as Sarawakians, I am astonished with Bandar Kuching MP’s statement and it is my responsibility to rebuke all bad, malicious and ill intentions that tarnish the good relationship between PN and the Sarawak government.
“I am glad to have witnessed myself and were involved in the MA63 negotiations where various important matters had been realised by the PN government. GPS can accept criticisms on our weaknesses, but will continue to be firm in defending the truth,” he said.
Among the achievements Nanta referred to were the exemptions for obtaining Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Control of Supplies Act (CSA) 1961 licenses granted to Distribution of Gas Ordinance (DGO) 2016 licensees in Sarawak starting June 1, 2021.
“With that, the government has helped to create a more conducive business environment that is beneficial in improving the governance and regulatory of the oil and gas sector in Sarawak as well as to spur economic activities and domestic investments in a more competitive manner,” he said.
He added that the PN government had also given permission for SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd to become a new oil company on par with other oil producing brands.
“Former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gave permission to SEDC Energy to sell petrol, diesel and other downstream petroleum products and act as a full-fledged oil company under its own brand.
“The current Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also urged the Sarawak government to be more proactive in the oil and gas industry as well as giving his commitment to continue negotiating on MA63 issues which is still ongoing,” he elaborated.
Nanta also highlighted that the recognition by the PN government on the imposition of State Sales Tax (SST) of five per cent on export of petroleum products by Sarawak government had allowed the State to pull in additional RM3 billion in revenue a year.
“The Federal government today is also committed to negotiating matters related to the economic sector development in Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily