Oil royalty issue not over yet

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (centre) receiving a mock cheque for the RM90mil corporate social responsibility contribution from Petronas chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan. Looking on from left are State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR

KUCHING: The state government is not letting up in its bid for a higher oil and gas royalty despite no successful outcome yet.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said negotations were still ongoing between the state government, Federal Government and Petronas for the royalty to be increased from 5% to 20%.

“I must admit we have not yet succeeded in our negotiations with regard to royalty. It is not so much between the Sarawak government and Petronas, it is between the Sarawak government and the Federal Government.

“(This is) because if they agree to increase the royalty, it will come from the Federal Government’s take,” he said at a Petronas event to announce its corporate social responsibility contribution to Sarawak here yesterday.

Adenan promised to keep negotiating until there was a positive result.

“Belum dapat belum berhenti,” he said, quoting a Malay pantun. “We must be very persistent.

“I am of course dropping a hint to the Prime Minister and he has agreed to consider it favourably in time to come.”

Adenan also said Petronas was a responsible and generous corporate citizen, as reflected in its initial contribution of RM90mil for Sarawak this year.

He said the amount was expected to rise to RM470mil over the next five years, to be channeled to education, community development and wellbeing and environmental conservation in the state.

“Of course we want them to be more generous but we’ll take what we can get now and we’ll ask for more later on,” he said, adding that the state government and Petronas had formed a committee to determine the areas which needed assistance.

Petronas chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan said the education initiatives to be funded by the contribution included the construction of a new Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) in Bintulu and two hostels for rural students, adoption of five schools in Lundu under the Trust School programme in collaboration with Yayasan Amir, sponsorship of 150 MRSM students through the Budi-Petronas programme and enhancement of technical skills under the Vocational Institution Sponsorship and Training Assistance programme.

Petronas will also increase its educational sponsorship under two programmes for students in Sarawak. This year, 37 students were awarded Petronas sponsorships to pursue tertiary education locally and overseas.

In addition, Sidek said, Petronas would continue to support envrionmental conservation projects in collaboration with state agencies.

These include the conservation of coral reefs in the Miri-Sibuti National Park, setting up a Petrosains Playsmart Centre and disaster relief support programmes.

“We want to be a good corporate citizen, not for any ulterior motive but because it’s good for our business. After all Petronas is there to help the nation, Sarawak included, and we will continue to do so,” Sidek said.

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Government , East Malaysia , petronas


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