It is obvious that the revenues and wealth from Sabah was siphoned off to develop peninsular Malaysia – Jeffrey Kitingan
By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – Sabah may no longer be the Barisan Nasional’s ‘fixed deposit’ unless the government initiate steps to “return the oil and gas resources that were unlawfully vested in Petronas by the late Tun Razak in 1975″.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the government must also start immediately before the 14th general election to develop Sabah.
Responding to news that the new Malikai oil facility will be starting production offshore Sabah later this December with a production of 193,000 barrels per day (bpd), Jeffrey said despite its wealth and revenue contribution, the Federal government has failed to properly develop Sabah compared to the overall advanced development in peninsular Malaysia.
“With the current world oil price of USD55.33 per barrel and exchange rate of USD1.00 = RM4.50, Petronas and the federal government will be reaping RM45.65 million daily from Malikai’s production.
“That is a humongous RM16.66 billion annually in addition to the current RM18.715 billion estimated for 2017 from the other oil fields, notably Gumusut-Kakap,” Jeffrey said in a statement Monday.
He pointed out that economically, although Sabah is the poorest State with 40% of the poor in Malaysia, it is the 5th biggest contributor to the nation’s GDP in 2015, behind Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Johor.
With this latest oil production (from Malikai), it is likely that Sabah will overtake Johor in terms of GDP contribution, he suggested.
“Ironically, despite its wealth and revenue contribution, the Federal government has failed to properly develop Sabah compared to the overall advanced development in Malaya,” said Jeffrey.
“Even the 40% net revenue derived from Sabah that was to be returned to Sabah as provided in the Federal Constitution was not returned since 1974.
“It is obvious that the revenues and wealth from Sabah was siphoned off to develop peninsular Malaysia. It would not be as developed today if not for the oil revenues from Sabah and Sarawak.”
Jeffrey said that if Malaysia is a true federation with Sabah and Sarawak equal to the Federation of Malaya, Petronas should have been owned by the oil producing States, namely, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan.
Alternatively, the oil producing States should appoint their own production sharing contracts directly with international oil companies and get their fair share of the revenues, not just 5% as given by Petronas currently, he added.
“Even the province of Acheh in Indonesia gets to retain 70% of its oil wealth,” disclosed Jeffrey.
“The Umno-BN federal government have realised that they are hanging on to power due to the support of Sabah and Sarawak, and (these two States) is keeping Najib as Prime Minister.”
Jeffrey went on to say that since Sabah is now producing some 65% of Malaysia’s oil production, the Federal government should develop Sabah to its true potential consistent with the revenues that it is getting.
“It is inconceivable and unacceptable that for all its revenues and oil wealth, many Sabahans are still poor and do not even have the basic amenities of clean water and electricity or good roads,” Jeffrey added.