KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How said the criticisms and negative comments of politicians from the opposite camps pertaining to the oil royalty issue are normal and Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders must learn to take them in their stride.
In acknowledging that there are a lot of misunderstandings on the issue, See said what matters is what PH can deliver to fulfil the hope of all Sarawakians for the betterment of Sarawak.
“For the first time in 43 years, since 1976, the Pakatan Harapan federal government is taking steps to deliver more than five per cent oil royalty to Sarawak, for the exploitation and development of our oil and gas resources within Sarawak’s territory,” he said in a press conference here today.
In stressing that PH has not renegaded its electoral pledge “to increase petroleum royalty to Sarawak and Sabah to 20 per cent or equivalent”, See said PH has now taken the first steps to deliver the promise and he is really happy for that.
For that, See thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership and Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali who has been tasked and is setting in motion the necessary acts to realise the delivery of this momentous promise.
“While it is true that the 20 per cent from net profit, adding to the five per cent royalty is still short of the ’20 per cent or equivalent’, but no one can deny the fact that the PH government is now on the right track to deliver more for Sarawak.
“That, I am proud of the new PH federal government. Comparing it with the 55 years reign of Barisan Nasional (BN) and the 43 years that the regime of Petroleum Development Act 1974 and Petronas exercised its full authority over our oil and gas, yet the compensation for our petroleum rights remained at five per cent.”
See said: “When the BN and now Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders are pointing their fingers at our PH leaders, please understand that they have four fingers pointing back at themselves.
“For 43 years, they were submissive to the condescending Umno-led BN federal government and had made no attempt to fight for more equitable share and distribution of petroleum wealth for Sarawak.
“For them to waste the opportunities over the last four decades and to criticise the PH federal government when they are to deliver more for Sarawak and Sarawakians, these BN and GPS leaders are running scared, or they are being pathetic at best.”
See said he has full confidence in the PH government in delivering equitable petroleum revenue to Sarawak, for Sarawak’s development needs.
“With the promise of the 20 per cent royalty or equivalent I believe there will be mechanism and institutional changes to ensure that more Petronas projects in Sarawak will be undertaken by Sarawakian companies and corporations, instead of allowing certain politically-related or privileged companies to dominate the works.”
He assured the people that PH will deliver and fulfil its electoral promises.