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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sabah government urged to conclude PL9SB deal by year-end

Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin says 'three years have been wasted with nothing achieved'.
Chan-Foong-Hin--lng
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP has urged the state government to acquire the “promised” 10% stake in Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd (PL9SB) by the end of the year, saying “three years have been wasted with nothing achieved” on the delayed deal.
Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin said M3nergy, which was acquired by Sabah Development Bank Group Berhad, had changed its name to Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd (SIP), which would be used as the vehicle to acquire the 10% share in PL9SB.
“SIP has not been generating any dividend for the state government as it is under a consolidating process now,” Chan told FMT in response to Chief Minister Musa Aman’s written answer to his question at the state legislative assembly sitting here today.
“In short, Sabah has gained nothing in the past three years as no shares were being acquired by Sabah, and SIP has not generated any dividend yet.
“So, what’s the point of the chief minister announcing that Sabah would play an active role in the oil and gas sector in 2014, while we achieved the least development after three years?”
In his written reply to Chan’s question earlier, Musa had said the proposed acquisition of the 10% equity in PL9SB had not materialised.
Nevertheless, he said, SIP had begun consultations with Petronas concerning the matter and signed a confidentiality agreement on Jan 11 to obtain information and data for valuation purposes.
“We expect to receive the information and data from SIP in August or September after Petronas resolves some corporate analysis issues involving PL9SB,” he said.
Chan said it was important to look back at the context of the chief minister’s initial announcement in 2014, when two issues were raised.
“The first issue is, there had been a louder and louder demand by Sabah and Sarawak for 20% oil royalty from Petronas. It was high time then as former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem adopted a motion in the Sarawak state legislative assembly (on the matter).
“The second issue is, why should Sabah send LNG (liquefied natural gas) from our land to Bintulu for processing?
“In this context, I believe the original intention was to get Petronas’ agreement to ‘give’ the 10% PL9SB stake to Sabah as compensation for our LNG transported to Bintulu for processing, and our non-commitment to demanding 20% oil royalty.”
Chan said the chief minister had insisted that Sabah is dedicated to getting the best deal. However, the Sri Tanjong assemblyman reiterated the importance of setting a deadline for finalising the deal “after three years have been wasted with nothing achieved”.
“It should be done by the end of this year,” he said.
Referring to a recently concluded transaction in which Thailand’s national oil company had acquired a 10% stake in PL9SB for US$500 million, Chan asked if Sabah needed to come up with the same amount of money to acquire its 10% share.
“Would Sabahans agree that we need to pay a few hundred million US dollars to buy the shares while our natural resource, LNG, is transported to Bintulu? Is that a fair deal for Sabah?” - FMT

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