“Sarawakians can manage state’s O&G better than Petronas”

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Dec 30: State Reform Party (Star) believes Sarawakians have the calibre to manage the state’s oil and gas resources.

Star president Lina Soo concurred with Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) that Sarawak can do better than Petronas.

“I know that Sarawak has many talents who are holding corporate and high-level positions in multinationals such as Shell, not just in Malaysia but also all over the world.

“Should national duty call upon Sarawakian professionals to return to Sarawak to develop our petroleum industry, I believe they will be ever-ready to serve our country,” according to Soo in a statement today.

She asserted that all ownership and economic rights over local natural resources must belong to Sarawak and its people.

“Star urges the people to unite to fight the aggression of the federal government (whick is) bullying the Sarawak people and exploiting our oil and gas.”

Soo alleged that Putrajaya and Petronas are the reasons behind why Sarawak is not getting a fair deal for its oil and gas.

“Despite the oil and gas being found in Sarawak, Sarawak gets only five per cent cash payment, whilst the federal government gets the oil royalty, petroleum income tax, taxes and dividends, allegedly reaping 92 per cent of oil and gas revenue.”

She also alleged that at least half of Petronas’ revenue since 1976 comes from Sarawak’s oil and gas with Sarawak producing one of the best oils in the market and is one of the largest gloal exporters of LNG.

“Despite all that, Petronas has refused to give royalty and pay up the five per cent Sarawak state sales tax on petroleum.

“Instead Petronas has just purchased a 50 per cent stake in another offshore venture located far in the deep waters off Brazil.

“Petronas has deep pockets to experiment overseas, but conveniently forgets the welfare of Sarawak from which the oil and gas is extracted.”

She believed that whilst Sarawak is wallowing in poverty, Petronas is gambling the profits generated from Sarawak’s petroleum in overseas forays.

“For the federal government to tell us to ‘buy-back’ equity in Petronas is worse than rubbing salt into the festering wound.

“It was our oil and gas monies that built up Petronas and for the federal government to ask us to pay for a stake in Petronas is adding insult to injury.

“Not to mention it is a trap for Sarawak to validate the unconstitutional Petroleum Development Act which is not applicable to Sarawak,” Soo opined.

SPG recently asserted Sarawak could no longer afford to continue paying for Malaya’s economic development and to cover its losses through gas subsidies and Petronas’s profits from Sarawak’s oil and gas production.

Sarawak, according to SPG, also cannot continue to pay for Petronas’ failures, losses and writing off of its overseas ventures, while sacrificing Sarawak’s own development and economic parity and equity for future generations of Sarawakians.

“Therefore, SPG believes that it is only proper for the Sarawak government to offer to relieve Petronas of this burden by the amicable return of Sarawak’s petroleum resources and assets to Sarawak, its rightful owner.

“SPG strongly believes that Sarawakians can certainly do better at managing Sarawak’s own petroleum resources than Petronas.”

SPG further pointed out that seeking redress through the courts is not the only legal option left to the Sarawak government and that it should relentlessly pursue all options, legal and political, until resolution to Sarawak’s full satisfaction. — DayakDaily