Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sarawak cannot demand quantum of oil royalty - Fadilah Yusuf

On common ground

by Peter Sibon, Posted on August 9, 2012, Thursday
Sarawak political leaders transcend political divide in calling for review on petroleum royalty for the state

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

Wong Ho Leng
KUCHING: State leaders from both sides of the political divide strike a common ground in calling for the federal government to review the five per cent petroleum royalty paid to Sarawak in the past four decades.
Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Dr James Masing said the proposed special committee to be set up by the federal government to look into the petroleum royalties to the East Coast states should include Sarawak and Sabah.
“Since Sarawak and Sabah are the main contributors to the national petroleum production, both states’ royalties of five per cent should therefore be reviewed and revised,” Masing told the Borneo Post here yesterday.
However, Masing stressed that the quantum for Sarawak should be based on the recommendation of the special committee which must include people from the state.
Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced the Government’s decision to set up a special committee to study the petroleum royalties to the East Coast states.
Najib had said that the committee was given six months to study the matter before making recommendations to the federal government.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had also said that the setting up of such a committee would put to rest all questions surrounding the royalty payment.
Nazri said the formation of the panel could also be due to Najib’s own father, the second prime minister who had earlier promised royalties to oil producing states.
“The history is long with this matter. It went back to the time when Tun Abdul Razak Hussein told the Dewan Rakyat about giving oil royalties back in the 1970’s. So based on the speech, maybe Najib felt that something needed to be done and that’s why a committee was formed,” said Nazri in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Concurring that a review was timely, DAP state chairman
Wong Ho Leng said the Pakatan Rakyat had actually demanded that both Sarawak and Sabah be given 20 per cent as both states are considered “still far lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development”.
“Even our chief minister in his winding up speech during the last DUN Sitting acknowledged that the state is actually at least 20 years behind Peninsular Malaysia in terms of infrastructure development,” he said.
Wong pointed out that the state’s five per cent oil royalty “was forced upon us in the 70’s without true negotiation”.
“Even the BN component parties from both Sarawak and Sabah have requested that oil royalty be reviewed on many occasions.”
Wong also stressed that with more money from oil royalty, Sarawak which he claimed was currently the fourth poorest state in the country and Sabah as the poorest would have more money to spend on development.
“It is the duty of the federal government to look into interests of Sarawak and Sabah to bring them at par with at least some of the states in West Malaysia,” said Wong, who is also Bandar Sibu and Bukit Assek assemblyman.
PBB and state BN deputy women chief Datuk Fatimah Abdullah opined that since the agreement on the five per cent was made more than four decades ago, it was time for it to be reviewed now.
“Petroleum production has increased due to technology advancement which means revenue would also increase. So it is only logical that the quantum should be reviewed,” she said.
Fatimah who is also the Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development said Sarawak was still in dire need for better school facilities especially in the rural areas where most of them were built by the local councils in the 1960’s.
Assistant Minister of Public Health and Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil believed that the state leaders were aware of the right quantum to be given by Petronas.
“But we must be aware that oil and gas exploration and prospecting could be very costly. So the present five per cent is better than nothing. The bottom line is of course if there is a review on the issue, Sarawak should be included as well, as we are one of the major contributors of petroleum in the country,” said Dr Jerip.
State BN and PBB and youth chief Datuk Fadillah Yusuf said that even though Sarawak cannot demand on the quantum for the oil royalty, he believed that Najib was willing to listen to the people’s needs for more funding for its infrastructure development.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

YB Sharifah Hassedah sokong Fadilah 100% untuk dikekalkan

PBB Semariang ready to roll into action

Borneo Post
OFFICIAL OPENING: Sharifah Hasidah (right) hands over a Women’s Section uniform to a recipient in Kampung Lintang.
KUCHING: PBB Semariang is strengthening its party mechanism with an upcoming seminar intended to equip its various sections for the 13th general election.
Semariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said its members were always ready to roll into action.
“We will be equipping our members with knowledge on various issues, like the Sistem Kawalan Undi (SKU).”
“We will work hard for the people as usual, election or no election.”
She revealed that they intended to retain their current candidate Datuk Fadilah Yusof as Petra Jaya MP, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister.
“We hope to retain him because he really gets the job done, and works well with all the other Adun in Petra Jaya,” she told reporters yesterday after launching a health talk at Tadika Kemas Aishah at Kampung Lintang.
Commenting on the conditions of the roads at Sungai Midin, she said, “All infrastructure development programmes will be done. Some will get done faster than others. We just have to wait for an allocation.”
In her speech earlier, Sharifah Hasidah asked the participants at the health talk to take advantage of the various free health screenings available to them.
“We hope to be able to keep running these programmes,” she added. “Health is not something you should take for granted.”
The health talk was the first event held at the newly built Tadika Kemas Aishah. During the opening ceremony, Sharifah Hasidah also made a symbolic presentation of 40 uniforms to the PBB Women’s Section members.


YB Datuk Fadilah Yusuf GERENTI masih jadi calon BN di petra jaya kerana abangnya Datuk Bustari Yusuf adalah kawan karib Perdana Menteri YAB Datuk Seri Najib (perkara ini diperakui sendiri oleh Datuk Bustari kepada rakan-rakan).