Tuesday, July 15, 2014

‘Najib short-changing Sabah, Sarawak’

KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak has pointed out that based on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s statement in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, he has conceded that the federal government has been short-changing Sabah and Sarawak.

PKR has urged Barisan Nasional (BN) parties in the two states to take a firm stand towards Putrajaya on the matter.
“Najib saying that allocations to federal ministries and agencies in Sabah (or Sarawak), together with development and operation expenditures, amounts to three times the 20 per cent oil royalty sought by the states is grossly unfair and malicious,” said PKR vice chairman See Chee How in a statement.

“The allocation for development and operation expenditure in the two states should never be included in the equation.”
See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, challenged Najib to reveal the allocations granted and received by Sarawak and Sabah, the BN’s ‘fixed deposit’ states, through federal ministries and agencies.
“Indeed, the five per cent oil and gas royalty paid to Sarawak, termed as ‘compensation in lieu of our oil and gas rights’, amounted to only RM1.67 billion for 2013,” said See in citing an example. This is only 2.275 per cent of the total sum of RM73.4 billion contributed by Petronas to the federal government.”
See claimed it was Petronas that had suggested to the federal government to increase its allocation for basic amenities, infrastructural and other needed development, “to pacify Sarawak”.
“It is unfortunate that the prime minister has shown no sincerity and commitment towards Sabah and Sarawak in terms of additional federal allocations,” said See. “He chose instead to push the obligation back to Petronas by asking that Petronas increase its corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions to the two states.”
See reminded the federal government and Petronas that what the two states were demanding was 20 per cent oil and gas royalty, equity in Petronas, participation in the production sharing contracts and involvement in downstream and operation contracts, “as rightful entitlements as oil producing states”.
The PKR leader wants Najib to demonstrate his sincerity and commitment towards Sabah and Sarawak instead of resorting to hand-outs and CSR projects.

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