KUCHING, July 27: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen has been accused of being evasive when asked for his stand on Putrajaya’s oil and gas royalty payment to Sarawak.
Assistant minister in Chief Minister’s department Abdullah Saidol said it was obvious that Chong was avoiding or could not answer his question by diverting the issue.
“Chong’s counter statement yesterday was out rightly frivolous. Such ‘political panic’ is perhaps due to their anticipation that many of PH election promises may not be fulfilled.
“Worst scenario is that their promises delivery may be worse or no better than what the people had experienced before,” Abdullah said, in reference to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement that royalty payment to Sarawak would derive from Petronas’ profit.
The Semop assemblyman admitted that Pakatan Sarawak’s offer requires amendments to certain provisions in the constitution, but said he did not mention anything about the ruling coalition not able to secure the two-third majority necessary for the relevant constitutional amendment.
“I believe Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs will jointly support any constitutional amendment that will eventually benefit the Sarawakians.
“What is glaringly missing from Chong’s argument is his denial that he actually made the promise to table a motion in parliament to amend the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, which he proudly announced and was published on March 11, this year,” Abdullah said.
According to Chong’s announcement, the amendment to Section 2(1) of PDA would enable Sarawak to reclaim the ownership of state’s oil and gas, discovered in the state.
Abdullah dared Chong, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, to table the motion as promised since the latter said such amendment was easy to carry out.
“Sarawakians are waiting for you to prove that you are truly sincere and committed towards the state’s initiatives to regain its rights and interest either as stipulated in the constitution or Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Since Chong and Baru Bian (Selangau MP) are now in the Federal Cabinet, we look forward to see their political will to prove that all their slogans and advocacy about caring for Sarawak are genuine, not just mere political rhetoric solely to attract voters and win the election.” — DayakDaily