Sarawak is entitled to all its oil and gas, says Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, August 21: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing says Sarawak is entitled to all its oil and gas and whether the state should receive 20 per cent or five per cent royalty is no longer the issue.

He said he could not understand why Sarawak should be fighting for 20 per cent when it is the rightful owner of its own oil and gas, and hence, why he could not agree with those fighting for 20 per cent oil and gas entitlement, be it based on gross or nett profit.

“What I can’t understand is that Sarawak (I don’t know about Sabah) is the sole owner of oil and gas resources on our land. Why are we demanding for 20 per cent oil royalty of what is our asset which is ‘illegally’ extracted from our property by Petronas in the first place!” said Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister in a statement.

He said Sarawak should make its stance very clear by telling Petronas in no uncertain terms that either they leave the state or Sarawak does extraction on PSC (production sharing contracts) basis.

“When that happens, a 20 per cent oil royalty, either base on gross or nett profit demand, doesnt apply anymore!”

He added he found the fight of whether the 20 per cent royalty over oil and gas should be based on gross or nett profit quite puzzling.

“This (20 per cent oil and gas) argument puzzles me. We must make sure that this argument is not a red herring or decoy to divert our attention from something else,” said Masing. — DayakDaily