Oil and gas royalties: Sarawak should decide who gets how much, says SAS

A vehicle getting refueled at a petrol station. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, June 12: Solidarity Anak Sarawak (SAS) founder Peter John Jaban says the Sarawak government should reverse roles with the federal government in deciding the distribution of the state’s oil and gas revenues.

He believed that the state government rather than the federal government should decide how much oil and gas royalties Sarawak should get.

“It is time to reverse the flow with the state giving the federal government 5 per cent of the oil revenue and keeping the remaining 95 per cent for the people of Sarawak,” said Peter John in a statement today.

He said the present is a deciding moment for the future position of Sarawak within Malaysia.

“It is just one month after the stunning election victory by Pakatan Harapan (PH), which campaigned on a 20 per cent oil revenue to the Borneo States and greater fairness for all Malaysians. Whatever the truth of the matter, no Sarawakian will believe that the timing of this suit is coincidental.

“The new Prime Minister of Malaysia (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) can claim to wash his hands of any involvement, choosing to let the courts decide. But any decision to strip the Borneo states of their rights will involve his new government,” he pointed out.

He said this is the moment when Sarawak and Sabah will learn whether they can expect any social justice within Malaysia and the new Pakatan Harapan government will be at the helm when that moment comes.

“Make no mistake – this is not about the past, this is about the future. The Borneo States are about to see whether they will be treated fairly within this new Malaysia.

“They are about to see whether election promises of greater respect and autonomy are going to be honoured. They are about to see whether they are a founding partner in the nation or the beggar at the door.

“They are about to see whether there is any intention to respect the safeguards in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, without which the nation would certainly have never been formed.”

He said Sarawak oil must serve to benefit future Sarawakians and that Sarawak must be ready for when push comes to shove.

“We have compromised long enough. We have already learned a bitter lesson – the interests of the state cannot be left to the goodwill of others. We must defend our own interests, not for one election cycle but for the future of generations to come.

“We Sarawakians must be united regardless political idealogy, race or religion,” said Peter John. — DayakDaily