Sarawak vs Petronas: Oil giant will regret triggering fiasco, Minos warns

Dato Peter Minos

KUCHING, Jan 18: Petronas will live to regret it if it continues to ignore paying Sarawak the 5 per cent State Sales tax, said political observer Datuk Peter Minos.

“Sarawak may definitely react, in the immediate term, by exercising its immigration powers and or its powers under the Land Code. One cannot tell. Anything may happen and Pakatan Harapan federal government may also react in its own ways because of Petronas’ attitude and behaviour towards Sarawak. The feelings of the people in Sarawak are now high,” Minos said here today.

He warned Petronas that it should not blame Sarawak if things get totally and fundamentally wrong between KL and Sarawak.

“Petronas started and triggered the mess and the fiasco. Petronas will pay for its follies. Petronas will live to regret it,” warned Minos.

Minos, who is a lawyer by profession and currently chairman of Kota Samarahan Municipal Council said, if Petronas thought ahead, it should have paid Sarawak the 5 per cent State Sales Tax on petroleum products like Shell, Nippon Oil and Murphy Oil, without fuss or hassle.

“As things are, many actions and reactions will most likely appear in the horizon.

“If Sarawak ultimately wins in the courts, and I’m confident it will, this is good and it means an extra revenue to Sarawak’s social and economic development. Not very much but it helps. It also means that Sarawak has been legally and constitutionally right all along n on the first place,” he stressed.

However, Minos said the big worry is if Sarawak were to lose, it will create a negative impact between the PH federal government and Sarawak.

“This will have many implications. I’m pretty sure of this. Firstly, right-thinking Sarawakians will be very angry and frustrated with Petronas and with the PH federal government, Petronas’ master. Sarawak will drift further and further from KL. Relations between Sarawak and KL will become sour and strained, so sour that KL will not only be seen as a big bully but also as a hostile ‘adversary’ to Sarawak,” he said.

Minos asserted that some Sarawakians may pressure the Sarawak government to seek legal help from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague if it could not fund the right solution to the current impasse.

“What else can Sarawak do in the face of a very hostile and suppressive PH federal government. Sarawak may even question in the ICJ the constitutionality of Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and even the legality of the creation of Malaysia in 1963.

“Of course we hope that this may and will not happen for we do honour and respect Malaysia as our nation but, in total desperation n as the last resort, Sarawak may and may well just do it. I’m pretty sure, Sarawakians will treat KL and Malayans not as usual friends but as those to be taken with wariness and suspicion. Even with some feelings of anger and hostility.

“This will be a sad day. Very sad indeed. This will not do any good to Malaysia. But Sarawak did not ask for it. Petronas drew and made the first blood by not quietly paying the sales tax and by counter- suing Sarawak,” said Minos. —DayakDaily