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KUCHING, Dec 18: There is no truth in Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) trying to mislead the public concerning the amount and market value of oil and gas that has been extracted by Petronas in Sarawak.
Its president Voon Lee Shan said all information concerning the production of oil and gas, as well as other related matters, were national secrets classified under the Official Secrets Act 1972.
Therefore, there is no way the party could know the exact amount of oil and gas that had been taken from Sarawak since the passing of the Petroleum Development Act 1974, he added.
“We also do not know the exact prices of crude oil and gas that had been taken away from us but it is sufficient that we had done some research on the matter for public knowledge.
“Oil is a very volatile commodity and prices can rise and fall sharply in world market,” he said in a statement.
Voon’s comment was made in light to what he perceived as an ongoing smear campaign against PBK, saying the party was misleading the public concerning the amount and market value of oil and gas that had been pumped by the national oil company.
However, he did not disclose what was stated in the said “smear campaign”.
The former Batu Lintang assemblyman claimed that the loss of revenue for Sabah and Sarawak from oil and gas for the past 60 years could be in the region of a few trillions ringgit to the federal government.
Citing a news report on Aug 18, 2017, Voon said that according to Petronas chief executive officer, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Petronas pumped an average of 850,000 barrels of crude oil from Sarawak’s 60 oil fields within the three nautical miles off its shores per day.
“The exact amount of oil and gas that Sarawak had lost every day could be a mystery because many people in the street has speculated that it could be more than that was disclosed by the CEO.
“If calculated at an average price of US$80 per barrel, Sarawak is losing about RM285,600,000 daily if the exchange rate is RM4.20 for US$1,” Voon opined.
He claimed that there are people who said that Sarawak could not produce so much oil per day as claimed by PBK.
“We have also heard that the Pakatan Harapan government is saying that Petronas is not making much money and the government cannot give 20 per cent of revenues from oil and gas back to Sarawak.
“For (budget) 2020, the federal government is only giving Sarawak about RM4 billion as development fund. This is ridiculous.”
In this regard, Voon felt it was vicious to say that PBK was misleading the public about the oil and gas taken by the federal government.
“It is speculated from third to 12th nautical miles off the shores of Sarawak, there could 200 more oil wells that rightly belonged to Sarawak,” he said. —DayakDaily