KUCHING, Sept 17: Sabah should have joined the legal fight when Sarawak demanded for 5 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) from Petronas, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.
“Only then, Sabahans including (political analyst) Zainnal Ajamain, have a better understanding of what it means to protect our rights,” he said.
Citing the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) activist’s recent articles, Masing questioned whether Zainnal fully understood Sarawak’s legal fight against Petronas and the issues involved.
He stated that Zainnal’s assumption of the RM2 billion SST for Sarawak being a one-off payment is wrong.
In Zainnal’s writing earlier today amid a heated discussion of the cheque hand-over ceremony by Petronas to Sarawak government this afternoon (Sept 17), he said Sarawak was acknowledging Petronas as the exclusive owner of oil and gas (O&G) in Malaysia by accepting the payment of RM2 billion SST.
Calling Sarawak government short-sighted, he added that Sarawak is admitting to the validity of the Petronas Agreement which was signed in 1975 for Sarawak and 1976 for Sabah.
In stating this, he brought up his worry that Sabah government next may have to agree with this arrangement as well.
Nevertheless, Masing reassured that Sarawak has won over its rights over the O&G based on several laws and the one that played a huge role in this fight is the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO).
“Sarawak and Sabah have different sets of state laws. Sarawak based its legal challenges on a few, and one of them is the OMO 1958.
“Whether Sabah has such oil and gas ordinance, I don’t know,” he said. — DayakDaily