By AZIS KHAN
KOTA KINABALU: Petronas and the other oil companies should stop pumping Sabah’s oil if they don’t want to pay the 20% oil royalty asked by the state and promised by the PH government.
Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STARSabah) who is also Member of Parliament for Keningau aid the Prime Minister and the PH government seem to have nothing to give except excuses.
Responding to the statement by Mahathir that giving the 20% oil royalties is not workable, Jeffrey said such excuses will not solve anything except to create more discontentment, dissatisfaction and resentment to Sabahans and Sarawakians.
“The federal leaders are fond of giving promises and false hopes to the people of Sabah and Sarawak just to get their support. Once they get what they want they will forget about you. In fact, this is the story of Sabah in Malaysia.
“We in Sabah and Sarawak are always at the losing end. We are too naïve, too nice and too accommodating.
“Is it a wonder that the Sabah government is unable to stand up for Sabah rights and are unable to get what is the best for Sabah” added Dr. Jeffrey.
“The Malay-centric Federal government should not make promises that they can’t keep”, Dr Jeffrey said, adding “but then the KL leaders have been giving promises and assurances even during the formation of Malaysia that they don’t keep even after more than 55 years!”
He said it is high time that Sabahans learn not to trust these leaders anymore for their own good.
The Sabah government leaders must put their foot down and say “enough is enough!, Jeffrey said in a statement Sunday.
The 20% oil royalties must be paid as promised.
Paying the 20% oil royalties will not make Petronas bankrupt because in reality it only has to come up with another 10%, the opposition lawmaker pointed out.
The other 5% can come from the 5% cash payment @ royalties that is paid to the Federal government, who shouldn’t be paid royalties as it is not the resource owner, he said.
According to Jeffrey, the alternative is to pay the Petronas profits to the oil-producing States as the Federal government is already collecting corporate and petroleum income taxes from Petronas and the international oil companies.
“Petronas contributes about RM60 billion a year to the Federal government and if it is reduced due to the 20% oil royalties to the four oil-producing States, Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Terengganu, then the Federal government should learn to spend within their means and not misappropriate what is due to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
“While the payment of oil royalties is being discussed, the Federal and Sabah government should immediately negotiate for the return of the oil and gas ownership rights.
“There is no legitimacy for Petronas and the Federal government to continue holding onto Sabah and Sarawak’s oil and gas and “robbing” them of the revenues generated by the oil and gas resources which come out from Sabah and Sarawak.
“The Federal and Sabah governments of the day need to realise that when Sabah and Sarawak are no longer in Malaysia, the ownership of the oil and gas resources will belong to Sabah and Sarawak respectively.