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Monday, September 30, 2019

Pay up 20% oil royalty or stop pumping in Sabah, says Jeffrey

Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku president Jeffrey Kitingan.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan yesterday hit out at the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government over Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remark that it is impossible to give the East Malaysian states the 20% oil royalty, calling this at odds with Putrajaya’s “Shared Prosperity” vision for the country.
In a statement, the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku president said Petronas and other oil companies should stop pumping oil in Sabah if the government does not wish to pay the royalty promised by PH.
He also accused Mahathir and the PH government of giving excuses.
“But excuses will not solve anything. They will only create more discontent, dissatisfaction and resentment among Sabahans and Sarawakians.
“The leaders in Kuala Lumpur are fond of giving promises and false hopes to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, just to get their support,” he added.
“Once they get what they want, they will forget about you. This is the story of Sabah in Malaysia.”
The prime minister was reported as saying last Thursday that the government had realised that giving 20% to the two states would mean that Petronas would no longer be the international oil company that it is.
“So we have to appeal to the Sabah and Sarawak governments that it is really not workable,” he said at a dialogue session with fund managers at the JP Morgan headquarters in New York.
But Jeffrey said paying the royalty would not make Petronas bankrupt as the company would only have to come up with another 10%.
“The other 5% can come from the 5% cash royalty payment that is paid to the federal government, who shouldn’t be paid royalties as it is not the resource owner,” he said.
“The alternative is to pay the Petronas profits to the oil producing states as the federal government is already collecting corporate and petroleum income tax from Petronas and international oil companies.”
He said Petronas contributes about RM60 billion a year to the federal government.
If this is reduced by the 20% payment to the country’s four oil producing states of Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Terengganu, he added, the federal government should learn to spend within its means.
He also criticised Sabah leaders, saying Sabah and Sarawak are “always at the losing end”.
“We are too naive, too nice and too accommodating.
“Sabah leaders and those in government allow themselves to be prostituted, abused and exploited and yet, after all that, they will bow, kiss their hands and salute them.
“Is it a wonder that the Sabah government is unable to stand up for Sabah rights and to get what is the best for Sabah?” - FMT

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