SIBU: The outcome of negotiations on Sarawak’s participation in the oil and gas industry will be made known this month, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the state government was still negotiating with the federal government on the proposal after a resolution reached between Sarawak and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) earlier this year.
“They (Petronas) withdrew their appeal to the Court and paid us RM2.9 billion in State Sales Tax (SST), add it together with other oil and gas companies, we are receiving RM3.1 billion (into the state coffers).
“Our fight on oil and gas matters is done. But wait… there’s more – I am currently in negotiations, please pray for it, hopefully by this October, we will execute our power in the exploration of our oil and gas.
“Please pray for it, we are not backing down, we must fight on. This is based on what we have been implementing,” he said when officiating at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) mini convention in Sibu on Saturday.
Abang Johari said he had made breakthroughs in the fight to restore the state’s rights to its resources, adding that when he took over from his predecessor, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, the first thing he restored was the state’s control over its energy.
“The first thing I did was to take over the Bakun dam so that we are in full control over our energy. This means that Bakun is no longer under the federal government, it belongs to Sarawakians,” he said.
The chief minister said he also made good on his promise to add to the state’s income during the party’s last convention in Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) previously.
“Back then I had pledged to increase our income from our oil and gas, I shared our rights as enshrined in our Constitution to impose SST. After the convention, I have worked to impose SST despite us having to fight it out in Court.
“Despite Petronas claiming the right to oil and gas was exclusive to them, the Court ruled in our favour on imposing SST. When the assessment was given to them, they refused to pay and we had to bring the matter to Court.
“We fought and the Court ruled in Sarawak’s favour,” he said.