MA63 Committee Did Not Discuss Purchase Of Stakes In Petronas

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KUCHING: The Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has denied that the purchase of stakes in Petronas was among the issues discussed by the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) Steering Committee.

Matters concerning oil and gas were only deliberated in a separate discussion among Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, the CMO said.

It was responding to a statement made by Pakatan Harapan Sarawak chairman, Chong Chieng Jen, who is also Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister, that Abang Johari had in an MA63 Steering Committee meeting agreed in principle to purchase a stake in Petronas.

“The deputy minister is therefore not privy to detailed information with regard to the oil and gas share issues and not an authority to divulge any information on such a discussion, if any.

“ln addition, it must be noted that the purchase of stakes in Petronas’ subsidiary companies cannot be equated with a similar purchase in the Petronas proper as the parent company,” stressed the CMO.

It said Sarawak has stakes in Petronas’ liquefied natural gas subsidiaries and is an equity partner in Shell MDS Sdn Bhd.

“As of today, there is no offer yet on the Petronas proper,” it disclosed.

Chong had further claimed that Abang Johari’s predecessor, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem, also advocated for the state government to take up a stake in Petronas.

“Sadly at that time, the then-BN Federal Government refused to divest any portion of its equity share in Petronas to the Sarawak state government because they wanted to keep to itself all the lucrative dividend and revenue Petronas generates for its shareholders,” he said.