KUCHING, July 26: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) has demanded Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen explain why the federal government did not adhere to its GE14 pledge to give 20 per cent oil royalty to the state.
In a statement today, SUPP said since Chong is also Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chief, he should make a stand on this issue — whether it is proper that the 20 per cent be based on net profit and not on revenue.
“The payment of 20 per cent oil royalty to Sarawak is part and parcel of Pakatan Harapan pledges made before GE14. Pakatan said they would give oil-producing states 20 per cent oil royalty when they become the ruling federal government, but now Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali declared that Putrajaya could not implement the pledge.
“SUPP condemns the failure of the Pakatan government in keeping the pledge. It seems that Pakatan has cheated the people,” maintained SUPP.
The statement added that oil was an important resource to the state; hence, SUPP would not settle for anything less than the promised 20 per cent oil royalty.
“Chong should stop avoiding the issue affecting the welfare and interest of the people. He should stop safeguarding the interest of Malaya, instead of that of Sarawakians.”
Meanwhile, SUPP Youth chief Michael Tiang said Sarawakians had been taken for a ride by Pakatan Harapan with regards to oil royalty payment.
“The catchy phrase made by a Pakatan MP in his GE14 promo video that ‘the deal is done! No more negotiations, no more talks and no more empty promises!’ went viral on social media, but the chances of the Pakatan government giving the 20 per cent oil royalty to Sarawak is close to zilch,” he opined.
Tiang felt Chong had given lame excuses when arguing that giving back 20 per cent oil royalty was attached to the condition that Sarawak government had to agree to take over the state’s education and public health matters.
Tiang reiterated that Sarawak owned the oil and gas resources within its territory, and the state government was no longer interested in seeking from the federal government a better cut of its own oil production.
This, he pointed out, was made clear when the state set up Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) and amended the Oil Mining Ordinance to strengthen the state’s regulatory control over the exploration and prospecting for petroleum.
Tiang claimed Putrajaya was more interested in protecting Petronas’ interest rather than the welfare and rights of Sarawakians. — DayakDaily