Friday, October 18

CM mum over Petronas meeting


Abang Johari reveals Petronas officials saw him after Federal Court ruling, to seek win-win solution

Abang Johari enters a mock-up surveyors tent to get a feel of the living condition of surveyors when visiting an exhibition after launching the Innovation and Integrity Day. – Bernama photo

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

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

“Yes, they did come to see me recently, after the Federal Court’s decision, but I cannot reveal what was 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 wants 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 Land and Survey Department’s Innovation and Integrity Day here yesterday.

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

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

“Not only 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 clarification on the oil royalty announced by the Pakatan Harapan government, Abang Johari said “not at the moment”.

The chief minister looking at a theodolite at the exhibition of surveyors instruments and tents. – Bernama photo

He said he would just exercise the Oil Mining Ordinance while waiting for the final decision of the federal government with regard to 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 with him unofficially.

“I have seen his statement where he said we have discussed 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 is concerned, royalty means Sarawak has the ownership of the property.

He stressed that it is the owner that should determine the terms of agreement and not the other side.

“As the owner, we were contented with the five per cent that we had 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.

Abang Johari insisted that the Sarawak government could not compromise on royalty, saying that ‘it is like someone having a patent right and that intellectual right is used by other people, who will then have to pay royalty because that is his right, his property’.

He said the same applies to Sarawak’s oil and gas, adding that the oil and gas resources are ‘Sarawak’s right, Sarawak’s ownership’.