By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 15: Petronas’ settlement of RM2 billion in State Sales Tax (SST) for 2019 is not a one-off payment over Sarawak’s rights over its oil and gas resources.
In pointing this out, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jamut Masing asserted that the assumption and criticism were wrong and fallacious.
“The RM2 billion paid by Petronas is not a one-off payment. Some critics thought it was and assumed, therefore, that we sold our rights for RM2billion. To those critics I hope they understand it now,” Masing said today
Additionally, Masing stressed that Petronas’ settlement of the 5 per cent SST was in pursuant to Sarawak’s laws governing its oil and gas resources such as the SST Ordinance, Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA 63) and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.
“Sarawak is not surrendering our rights to our oil and gas to Petronas. Whoever assumed this is wrong. Petronas recognised this by conceding to pay SST 5 per cent to the State. CM has said it many times but our critics either failed to understand lawyers’ pronouncements or just refused to understand for reasons best known to themselves,” said Masing.
Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development said, the people must understand that Petronas has many agreements with many international entities.
“So, our recognition of Petronas as Malaysian oil corporation operating in Sarawak territory will ensure the validities of all these agreements and contracts.
“Both Malaysia and Sarawak need the survival of Petronas as our oil and gas corporation.
“Thus, both Petronas and Sarawak must understand each other’s needs. Both require the survival of others to operate. Our economic ecosystem is very much interlinked,” added Masing.
He was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari’s statement yesterday that Sarawak has never compromised its rights over its oil resources and this was proven right with Petronas willingness to pay the 5 per cent SST.
Sarawak is expected to earn RM3.9 billion annually from SST from oil and gas companies operating in Sarawak, such as Petronas, Shell, Murphy Oil and Pertamina. —DayakDaily