SIBU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said, Sarawak’s demands related to the five per cent export duties of oil and gas extracted from the country’s territorial waters from Petronas would be settled in a few months.
He reiterated that, so far, only Petronas had not yet paid the taxes when Shell and Murphy Oil companies and another sub-contractor company had paid the duties to Sarawak.
According to him, negotiations between the Sarawak government and the federal government regarding the demands was ongoing.
“So we see in the next two months, because there are negotiations between us and the federal government. The Sarawak government is very firm with our rights and they (also) need to respect our rights, no matter what the circumstances are.
“In the next several months, we will settle the oil and gas rights, what is the right of Sarawak is our right, respect the rights of the children of Sarawak so that Sarawak can develop,” he said when answering a question from one of the participants at the Townhall session “Berambeh Ngan CM Abg Jo” at the Sibu Islamic Complex Hall today.
Abang Johari said, the demands on the oil and gas taxes were in accordance with the Malaysian Constitution and Sarawak had the right to carry it out but this case was still doubted by Petronas.
“From the point of view of the Malaysian Constitution and the IGC Report which are the basis of the 1963 Malaysian Agreement (MA 1963), we do have the right to obtain the taxes for oil and gas exports,” he explained.
According to Abang Johari, he had issued a view three days ago that the oil and gas extracted from the country’s waters from 1976 to 2018 were valued at RM660 billion but only RM33 billion was paid to Sarawak.
The Chief Minister said, the excise duties were to increase Sarawak’s income, which would then given back to the people through financing people’s projects and development in the state.
In the meantime he said, Sarawak was continuing an artificial reefs projects along Sarawak waters from Tanjung Datu to Lawas involving a distance of 1,000 kilometres, which is the longest in the world, at a cost of RM70 million.