CM: Sarawak To Find Other Ways, Means To Generate Income

Date : 15 March 2019     Source : The Borneo Post Online

KUCHING: Sarawak will find its own ways and means to generate income instead of waiting for the oil and gas royalty because negotiation on the matter is still ongoing since the time of the last chief minister.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the government was playing an active role in finding other sources of income like the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry, and charging five per cent sales tax on petroleum products.

“We are still waiting for the decision to increase the oil and gas royalty from five to 20 per cent. But so far there’s no decision yet so we have no option but to find other means to earn income to develop the state,” he said at a meet-the- people session cum Chinese New Year dinner in Siniawan bazaar on Wednesday.

Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh and several state cabinet ministers were also present at the gathering.

Abang Johari added that the Pakatan Harapan government announced in July last year of a 20 per cent royalty payment to oil and gas-producing states based on the profit generated. He, however, disagreed with the calculation.

He said Sarawak wanted the royalty payment be calculated based on the production of oil and gas from the state.

Abang Johari added that the GPS government would continue to fight for Sarawak’s eroded rights and its autonomy.

“We are now trying to get our eroded rights back. The federal government has agreed to amend the constitution with the aim of restoring the original provision under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to make Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya equal partners in the federation. Other provisions are still being discussed but there are four areas which are non-negotiable.”

The four areas are autonomy in immigration, rights on land code, respecting boundaries including continental shelf, and rights on resources (land for subsoil and seabed).

“We cannot surrender these four items. The GPS government will protect them because Sarawak can only be protected by Sarawakians. This is our firm stand.”