Unfulfilled oil royalty promises, implementing MPKK shows lack of respect to Sarawak

Milton Foo

KUCHING, Oct 2: The implementation of the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) and inability to deliver oil royalty promises by Pakatan Harapan (PH) only goes to show Putrajaya’s lack of respect to treating Sarawak as an equal partner.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth secretary-general Milton Foo felt the conducts of PH-led federal government seems to demonstrate their willful ignorance and deep unwillingness to fulfil its election manifesto.

“This is a timely reminder to us all Sarawakians, to realise and know who is on our side and who is not,” he said in a statement today.

“It exposes the incontrovertible fact that the current government of Malaysia is only Malaya-centric, as they are well prepared to equip themselves with all sorts of lame excuses to veto the needs of Sarawak rather than acceding to our requests,” he opined.

Their actions, he claimed, also proved that the PH will not do anything good for Sarawak but to destroy the state for their own prospering enrichment at the expense of Sarawak.

“Do we still need PH Sarawak to fight for us, for Sarawak’s rights or interests? The answer is plain, obvious. It is time for the people of Sarawak to unveil the mask and make a prudent choice,” he said.

Foo was commenting on Putrajaya’s insistence on implementing MPKK in Sarawak despite protests from the state government, as well as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remark that increasing oil royalty to 20 per cent for Sarawak and Sabah was ‘not workable’.

Works Minister Baru Bian, who is also the state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman, last week emphasised that the MPKK will proceed as planned to facilitate the implementation of the federal government’s projects in the rural areas in Sarawak.

Baru believed there was no law against the establishment of MPKK, as it was for the benefit of the rural people.

Sarawak Pakatan chairman Chong Chieng Jen revealed that the appointment of MPKK representatives was expected to be announced by early November, as they were now finalising the list of names.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying that although the oil royalty pay-out was promised in the PH election manifesto, giving 20 per cent to the two states would undermine Petronas’ strength as an international oil company.

He said this when speaking at a dialogue with fund managers at the JP Morgan headquarters in New York, last week.

Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, defended that PH did not promise an increase of oil royalty unconditionally.

He reminded that all PH had offered was an agreement to the state ruling coalition – then Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak and now Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) – before the 2018 general elections.

In that agreement, he said it was clearly stated under ‘Fiscal Decentralisation: Taxation & Public Revenues’ that PH would give 20 per cent oil and gas royalties or value equivalent as well as 50 per cent of all tax revenues collected in Sarawak back to the state if Sarawak took over autonomy in education and health.

He added that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and GPS had rejected the offer. — DayakDaily