Friday, December 6

Pol Sec: Why set conditions for 20 per cent oil royalty?

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Soo Li Ching

KUCHING: Political secretary to the chief minister, Soo Li Ching, questions the requirement to set conditions for granting 20 per cent oil royalty to Sarawak, given the natural resources belong to the state in the first place.

“I believe all Sarawakians will have the same feeling of being cheated by the sweet talk of being given back the 20 per cent of the oil royalties and 50 per cent of all tax revenues collected in Sarawak,” said Soo in a press statement yesterday.

She challenged Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen to inform Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) that all operations in Sarawak should cease if the 20 per cent oil royalty promise is not fulfilled.

“I would like to remind him that when Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) took our oil resources for the development of Malaya, did Sarawak set any condition? Why should Sarawak, when claiming back 20 per cent of the oil royalties, must come with condition?” said Soo.

“It does not make sense for somebody that when claiming their own property or money has to fulfil certain condition to get back what actually belong to them.”

Also, with Chong reportedly saying that negotiation is now between Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Dr Mahathir, Soo remarked that the state PH chairman seemed not to have much say in the negotiation for oil royalties and tax revenues.

“It seems to us that Chong has no proper locus standi or has any say on the 20 per cent oil royalties and 50 per cent tax revenues.”

She claimed that Sarawak Pakatan Harapan coalition is subservient and has to abide with whatever decisions made by their counterpart in Peninsular Malaysia or the Prime Minister.

“Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) stands firm to fight for Sarawak’s interest, our main objective is to fight for ‘Sarawak First’, unlike the party from Malaya which fights for Malaya first.”

With all the unfulfilled promises by PH, Soo believed Sarawakians would know who to choose to protect the interest of Sarawak.

“The ‘shared prosperity’ as claimed by PH is just slogan and all talk,” she said.