Oil royalty issue: PH has not reneged on polls pledge, rep assures

See (second right) addressing the press conference.

KUCHING, August 1: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has not reneged on its electoral pledge “to increase petroleum royalty to Sarawak and Sabah to 20 per cent or equivalent”, said See Chee How, the state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-chairman.

The recent announcement of a proposed new deal, in which Sarawak would be paid 20 per cent of oil profits on top of the existing five per cent royalty, is the first step taken towards delivering this promises, he opined.

The Batu Lintang assemblyman expressed his gratitude towards the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has been tasked to deliver this “momentous promise”.

“The criticisms and negative comments of politicians from the opposite camp are normal. We must learn to take them in our stride. What matters is what we can deliver to fulfil the hope of all Sarawakians for the betterment of Sarawak.

“While it is true that the 20 per cent from net profit and adding it to the five per cent royalty is still short of the ‘20 per cent or equivalent’, no one can deny the fact that the Pakatan government is now on the right track to deliver more for Sarawak,” See told a press conference at the state PKR headquarters here today.

He expressed his contentment with the new Pakatan governance, especially when comparing it with the 55 years of Barisan Nasional reign. In addition, since the Petroleum Development Act 1974 came into force, compensation for Sarawak petroleum rights had remained at five per cent, he lamented.

“When the Barisan, and now Gabungan Parti Sarawak leaders, point their fingers at Pakatan leaders, please understand that they have four fingers pointing back at themselves,” he highlighted.

For 43 years, he noted, they were submissive to the condescending Umno-led Barisan federal government and had made no attempt to fight for more equitable share and distribution of petroleum wealth for Sarawak.

“For them to waste the opportunities over the last four decades and to criticise the Pakatan federal government when they (PH) are to deliver more for Sarawak and Sarawakians, these Barisan and GPS leaders are running scared, or they are being pathetic at best,” See said.

With the promise of 20 per cent royalty or equivalent, See believed there would be a mechanism and institutional changes to ensure that more Petronas projects in Sarawak would be undertaken by Sarawakian companies and corporations, instead of allowing certain politically-related or privileged companies to dominate the works.

“Pakatan will deliver and fulfil its electoral promises,” See said. — DayakDaily