KUCHING: Sarawak has never been able to enjoy fully the benefits from oil and gas resources extracted from its territory, the august House was told yesterday.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said as far as Sarawak was concerned, the only revenue contribution from oil and gas was a mere five per cent royalty and dividend from Sarawak’s investments in Malaysian Liquified Natural Gas (MLNG).
He lamented that over the past 42 years, revenue from the five per cent royalty to Sarawak amounted to only RM33.5 billion.
“This quantum of revenue from oil and gas is rather insignificant compared to the financial benefits received by the federal government.
“It has to be noted that last week, it was reported that Petronas would give a one-off dividend of RM30 billion from its reserves to the federal Government.
“It takes Sarawak 42 years to accumulate RM33.5 billion financial benefits from its oil and gas. What an irony,” he said in his winding-up speech.
Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Finance, said it could not be denied that the federal government, since the enforcement of Petroleum Development Act, 1974, had gained tremendous financial benefits from the extraction of oil and gas from Sarawak.
He said these benefits were derived from the receipts of (i) Tax from Petroleum Income; (ii) Tax from Corporate Income; (iii) Dividend from Petronas and associate companies; and (iv) Royalty.
He believed that the combined financial benefits made up to more than half of the share of revenue from oil and gas.
“One can easily compute the huge financial benefits gained by the federal government as well as Petronas over the past 42 years, and contributing to the prosperity of Malaysia,” he said.