Sarawak and Sabah to enhance collaboration in oil and gas to raise revenues for both states

Abang Johari (left) and Shafie addressing a press conference in Kota Kinabalu today (Oct 14).

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KOTA KINABALU, Oct 14: The state governments of Sarawak and Sabah will strengthen their collaboration in the oil and gas industry to increase revenues of both states.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that apart from oil and gas, enhanced efforts must also be undertaken to accelerate infrastructure and socio-economic developments of both states especially in view of Indonesia’s capital shift to Kalimantan in the near future.

“Sabah and Sarawak have a lot of things in common, but also with their own strengths which should be consolidated to be able to transform and propel the economy of both states to greater heights,” he said

“We have huge potential in Borneo because we are neighbours to two other countries – Brunei and Indonesia, but especially Indonesia because the country will be moving its capital to Kalimantan,” he added.

“This will definitely benefit us all in Borneo in terms of economy,” he told a press conference after paying a courtesy call on Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohamad Shafie Apdal earlier today.

Meanwhile, Shafie highlighted that Sarawak and Sabah being the biggest oil producing states in Malaysia, the two states would be able to form a collaboration in the oil and gas industry.

“In terms of downstream activities, Sarawak is way ahead of Sabah. They (Sarawak) have gone far with regard to oil and gas, though Sabah is quite rich in terms of crude oil but we are the second biggest for gas,” he said.

“I think looking into the bigger picture for the country, it is indeed very important and crucial for us to have a bigger and stronger relationship so we can realise the benefit not only for the two states but also the country at large,” he added.

Noting that Sabah and Sarawak have contributed significantly to the national revenue, Shafie however stressed that what were due for Sabah and Sarawak should not be neglected.

“So we (Sabah and Sarawak) are working closely together to ensure this can be realised,” he assured.

On the 20 per cent oil and gas royalty which had not been mentioned during the Budget 2020 announcement, both chief ministers said the matter was to be discussed separately during the Malaysia Agreement 1968 (MA63) Steering Committee Meeting between the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abang Johari and Shafie.

Abang Johari reiterated that Sarawak government needed to be innovative in generating revenue for the state by executing its constitutional rights, which was to impose the five per cent oil and gas Sales Tax.

“Of course Sarawak want to generate its own revenue according to what is enshrined in the constitution where the resources in question are from Sarawak itself. This is our (Sarawak) stand,” he added.— DayakDaily