Pending rep: Call for Sarawak to further subsidise fuel, LPG cylinders not laughing matter

Violet Yong (File Photo).

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KUCHING, April 10: The Sarawak government has the financial strength to lower the price of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders sold through Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) on top of the existing subsidised prices by the federal government, says Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

She said the Sarawak government has that ability despite petroleum products being listed as controlled items and it is not restricted by the Competition Act 2010.

“It is thus very clear that my call in asking the Premier of Sarawak (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) to lower the prices of petroleum products is not a comical suggestion to win brownie points as alleged by (chief political secretary to Premier of Sarawak Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman) but a valid one.

“The fact that federal government has already subsidised the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders does not mean that the Sarawak government is stopped or prohibited under any written law from giving further subsidy to it,” she said in a statement today.

She was responding to a recent statement by Fazzrudin who described her call as a comical suggestion to win brownie points among her supporters, painting an image of fighting for Sarawak’s rights.

Yong further implied that it is only a matter of whether the Sarawak government has the strong political will to offer better pricing on petroleum products to Sarawakians.

“I believe it is the wishes of the majority of Sarawakians in wanting the State government to utilise part of the revenue gained through the oil and gas resources as a subsidy for the petroleum products sold through Petros.

“Under the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958, the Sarawak government has all the control in regulating the oil and gas resources in Sarawak. In my view, the most direct and practical way in letting Sarawakians to have a bite of the big pie is to get Petros to sell petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders at a price which is the cheapest in Malaysia,” she elaborated.

Yong also alleged that the Premier had previously at a Petros launching event held before the 12th Sarawak Election, said that if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) managed to win big in the State election, he will look into ways to let Sarawakians enjoy a special LPG cylinder price.

“It is hoped that the Premier of Sarawak will not go back on his words but is committed to fulfilling the promise, after all Sarawak GPS has already won more than two-thirds majority in the last State election and been given the mandate to govern Sarawak,” she emphasised. – DayakDaily