Bung: Sabah may not get oil royalty

Proud supporter: A man carrying a Barisan Nasional flag as he walks on a bridge ahead of the state election in Sabah. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah might never get the 20% oil royalty that it is hoping for due to pre-existing agreements with international corporations, says state Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.

He said the 20% oil royalty was not an easy matter to achieve, which was why the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, comprising Sabah Barisan, Perikatan Nasional and PBS, would set up a Sabah Petroleum Council among others as per the “Aku Janji” pledge.

“Sabah, being an oil-producing state, must fully utilise the resource for the people’s well-being. This council will allow us to get funds to help our children further their studies and other matters to assist in the development,” he said during his campaign in Bongawan yesterday.

Bung Moktar said this was a way to give the funds back to Sabahans as it was not likely that the 5% oil royalty Sabah was getting presently could be increased.

He said following research on the Malaysia Agreement 1963, the claim had been made for many years and it was almost impossible for the Federal Government to approve it.

“The agreement was signed after Independence with international corporations including big companies.

“Malaysia once had no oil drilling speciality and that is why it needed to use foreign specialists, and the amount was agreed when these agreements were signed.

“So there is no way we can get 20%,” he said adding that there were other means to get what was owed to Sabah.

“We will discuss with Petronas, so don’t worry. Let us govern the state first and then we’ll lay out the plans,” he added.

Earlier, Bung Moktar said elected representatives and candidates from Barisan who were arrogant and did not meet the grassroots when they won the election would be given a warning and even kicked out.

“We are here to serve, not to be served. We don’t want a chief minister to be treated like a sultan.

“The same goes for elected representatives. There is no need to act like big bosses, having bodyguards here and there,” he said.

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