Oil royalty issue: Let’s not be fooled by Putrajaya again — Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, Sept 16: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing says Sarawak should not repeat its mistake with regards to its rights to oil and gas resources a second time.

In addition, he said the statement made by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in Sabah yesterday was a ‘decoy’ to divert attention from the main issue of oil and gas in Sarawak.

Masing cautioned that if Sarawak were to make the mistake of accepting what Azmin said with regards to the state’s oil and gas, Sarawak was making a “decision”.

“What is Azmin talking about? Twenty per cent oil and gas royalty? Sarawak own 100 per cent of its oil and gas assets in Sarawak waters and land.

“There is a saying which states ‘we are excused for making the first mistake. But if we repeat it, it’s not a mistake. It’s a decision’. So don’t make a wrong decision on our oil and gas,” said Masing in a statement in response to Azmin’s statement that a special cabinet committee had been set up to oversee matters relating to the 20 per cent royalty payment to oil producing states.

Azmin said the committee, comprising representatives from Sarawak, Sabah, Kelantan and Terengganu, had been given six months to prepare a proposal paper on the matter. He also pointed out that the Sarawak and Sabah governments would be consulted on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Azmin, however, did not clarify whether the 20 per cent would be based on production or profit.

“Azmin is trying to divert the main issue of oil and gas in Sarawak. It’s a decoy by Putrajaya to divert our attention to other issues. Don’t be fooled by Putrajaya,” said Masing. — DayakDaily