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KUCHING, July 31: State Reform Party (STAR) calls Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs’ amended ‘new deal’ as a ‘no go deal’.
Its president, Lina Soo, said the deal — which offers the state the current 5 per cent royalty and a further 20 per cent oil profit — was “sheer audacity” and a “diversionary tactic”. She wondered in what capacity state PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian amended the offer.
She questioned if Chong and Baru were representing the prime minister, the economic affairs minister, the finance minister, Petronas or were acting as ‘liaison officers” between the federal and Sarawak governments.
“PH leaders in Sarawak are desperately looking into every conceivable angle to help Petronas cover up its rapacious act of infringing upon Sarawak oil and gas resources,” said Soo in a statement today.
Soo asked why PH altered their call from 20 per cent oil royalty on production before the recent 14th general election to 20 per cent royalty on profit and insisted that the Sarawak government pay for education and healthcare.
“Whose side are they on?” asked Soo.
On Economics Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali’s warning that Malaysia’s petroleum industry would be ‘buried’ and Petronas might cease operations if the federal government accedes to the 20 per cent royalty, Soo said it was a welcome news to Sarawak, as Sarawak could manage its own petroleum resources, which it had done when oil was first discovered in Miri in 1910.
She asserted that Petronas was “not indispensable” to Sarawak and that the national oil giant should stop hiding behind the “sarongs” of state PH leaders.
Soo said Chong and Baru were merely playing politics and did not have the gumption to address the real issue on the oil and gas ownership, which rightfully belongs to Sarawak.
“STAR’s view has always been that the oil and gas resources on Sarawak territory belong to Sarawak.”
Soo again called upon the Sarawak Legislative Assembly to convene a special sitting to legislate the inapplicability of the Petroleum Development Act and Territorial Sea Act to put the matter to rest.