Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem confirmed today that negotiations between the state and Petronas over Sarawak’s request to increase its oil royalty payment from five percent to 20 percent have failed.
“Our negotiations with Petronas on our request for an increase in oil and gas royalties from five percent to 20 percent have not succeeded.
“However, Petronas has assured it will award RM2.1 billion worth of contracts to Sarawak-based companies,” Adenan announced during a national smallholders and commodities entrepreneur conference in Kuching today.
He told the participants: “We don't want people to take away our oil and gas with us being mere onlookers. We don't want to be spectators; we want to be active participants, on an equal partnership.
“We will pursue our royalties demand until we achieve want we want,” he said.
The federal government took over control of oil and gas operations from Sarawak and Sabah in 1976, in return for a five percent royalty on all the oil and gas extracted.
Sabah and Sarawak are the nation’s chief oil and gas producers.
Adenan recently went to Sabah to seek the support of the state’s Chief Minister Musa Aman to fight for the increase of oil royalty.
'Give me the chance to fight for our rights'
Adenan, who took over as chief minister a year ago, pleaded to Sarawakians to give him a chance to fight for the state and her rights, pointing out that Sarawak has been neglected for far too long.
“It is true that the people of Sarawak have been neglected for far too long, and if you don’t fight for Sarawak, nobody else will.
“I need a few more years to transform Sarawak – from Lawas to Sematan,” he said.
Pointing out that there was some development, he said it was not enough.
“Look at Peninsular Malaysia. If we travel from Johor Bahru in the south to Perlis in the north, possibly in a 10-hour drive, our feet will not get dirty.
“You will see double highways and first class roads. Now, if you travel from Sematan to Lawas, our backbones crack because of uneven road surfaces,” Adenan said.
“More people supporting me means I have more power to speak to Putrajaya and Petronas, and those in Putrajaya will listen to Adenan, for he represents the whole of Sarawak,” the chief minister said.
He said election or no election, the people of Sarawak must speak with one voice, and he went on to point out that this was the reason he wanted differing political parties to come together.
It would be pointless for the parties to indulge in fighting all the time, Adenan said, adding: “Don’t follow what is happening in Peninsular Malaysia, where they fight over petty and trivial matters.”