Tuesday, March 19

State govt, Petronas seek win-win solution


Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg


KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that Petronas has come to see him after it failed to get the application for leave from the Federal Court.

He, however, declined to reveal what were discussed during the meeting.

“Yes, they did come to see me recently, after the Federal Court’s decision, but I cannot reveal what were discussed during the meeting.

“Of course we discussed some of the win-win-proposals together. We are not that greedy.

“Okay that is our right. Petronas want to take and sell the oil, which is our right, so they have to negotiate with us,” he told a press conference after launching the Sarawak Land and Survey Department’s Innovation and Integrity Day here today.

Abang Johari said although Sarawak has the right over its oil and gas, the state government must respect the fact that oil and gas is being developed by Petronas in the country.

He noted that Petronas was the major player of oil and gas industry in the country, but coincidentally, the oil and gas are in Sarawak’s land, so the state government and Petronas must work together.

“Not we must respect them, but we also don’t want to attack them (Petronas).

Asked if he has any plan to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to seek for clarification on the royalty announced by the Pakatan Harapan government, Abang Johari said not at the moment.

He said he would just exercise the Oil Mining Ordinance while waiting for the final decision of the federal government regarding the oil royalty.

“At the moment, we are also still uncertain because in the morning he (Prime Minister) said it was royalty but in the afternoon he said it was based on profit.

“Which one is he using, we don’t know. That is why I asked for clarification the other day. So far, there is no clarification yet,” he said.

On his meeting with the Menteri Besar of Terengganu, Abang Johari said the former had called him on Sunday saying he wanted to meet unofficially.

“I have seen his statement where he said we have discussed on the proposal of royalty to the oil and gas-producing states whether we are using the royalty based on production or based on profit.

“That was what we discussed. There is no cooperation. They just want to ask about our opinion on this issue,” he said.

The Chief Minister said as far as Sarawak was concerned, royalty means Sarawak has the ownership of the property.

He stressed that is the owner that should determine (the amount) and not the other side.

“As the owner, we have contented with the five percent that we have agreed before but now we want it to be increased because the value of money is also different and demand of oil and gas is different.

“Because of that, we see there is a need to increase our royalty,” he said.