Datuk Sebastian Ting

MIRI:  Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting has chided Selangau Member of Parliament (MP) Baru Bian for discrediting SUPP’s convention resolution to set up a Sarawakian Sovereign Fund by claiming that it was triggered by ‘election fever’.

“Baru Bian must have ran out of political ideas to woo voters, thus, he needs to discredit SUPP’s resolution,” he said in a statement.

“My suggestion to set up Sarawak Sovereign Fund in 2018 was different from the suggestion by See Chee How in 2014. See then was suggesting that the fund would be from the anticipated 20 percent increased payments in oil and gas royalty,” he explained.

There was no such increase in oil and gas royalty, not even with the promise of 20 percent of oil and gas royalty by the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of 22 months, Ting disclosed.

“If Baru had done a proper checking at Sarawak DUN Hansard, he would have realised that I had spoken extensively on introducing Sarawak Sovereign Fund similar to the one in Norway to ensure future generations to continue benefitting from the oil and gas revenues.

“I said it during my debate on the Oil Mining (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 on July 10, 2018 and the debate for the TYT (Head of State) opening speech on July 13 (2018). 

“It was never due to any election fever but our primary and genuine concern for the welfare of Sarawakians, our children and future generations,” Ting said.

Nevertheless, the Sarawak Sovereign Fund that SUPP suggested would come from the revenue surplus in implementing our Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 and the participation of Petros in the mining and production sharing agreements with Petronas and other major industry players. 

He added that with the implementation of five percent State Sales Tax on exported petroleum products, Sarawak would have more surpluses to invest into the Sarawak Sovereign Fund.

“If Baru is truly concerned of the wellbeing of Sarawakians, he should welcome any people-friendly ideas rather than oppose or discredit the idea just to score some political points. Is it because of his own ‘political fever ‘? ” Ting asked.