Warisan reiterates stand on 20% oil royalty, says money 'sorely needed' for development

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah wants the Pakatan Harapan federal government to stick to its promise of 20% oil royalty made in its GE14 manifesto, as the party believes it is necessary for the development of the state.

Sabah Chief Minister and Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (pic) said he has spoken about this to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and discussions will continue as the extra money was sorely needed.

He said 20% oil royalty would mean that the state would earn about RM6bil to RM7bil necessary for its development, which is lagging behind Peninsular Malaysia’s in many aspects, including basic infrastructure, healthcare and education.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday (Sept 17), Shafie said during talks with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the oil royalty issue, the Prime Minister said the federal government needed some time to look into certain specifics, namely the impact on Petronas’ profitability.

“I told him that if you do a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programme or give a post in the (Petronas) board to an individual, you will make that person happy.

“But, if you give the 20% oil royalty, you will make three to four million Sabahans and Sarawakians happy,” he said.

Sabah and Sarawak have been receiving 5% oil royalty since 1976 under the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

Describing Dr Mahathir’s announcement on Malaysia Day that the Pakatan government would restore Sabah and Sarawak as “equal partners” in the federation, Shafie said that it was unprecedented and historic for a Prime Minister to make such announcement.

“This is something we have been looking forward to.

“Now, we have to go into the details and look at the particular area for devolution of powers,” he said, adding that they would be guided by the state’s safeguards under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“That (MA63) is the pillar for whatever has been agreed upon, whatever we do, it must be there,” he stressed.

He said as partners of the federation there is a need for all to work responsibly and in consensus to allow the state to manage certain aspects of development.

He said it is better to decentralise responsibilities, as the state would be more efficient in handling development here, due to greater awareness of the various local problems and issues.

Other than meeting Dr Mahathir over breakfast on Monday (Sept 17), Shafie also received courtesy calls from Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, and also Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

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