Sarawak CM want the government to review Petroleum royalty

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KUCHING  — The state government will discuss the need to review the current five per cent petroleum royalty paid to Sarawak with the federal government based on the prevailing close relationship and goodwill between both sides, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said today.

Concurring that state leaders from both sides of the political divide had struck a common ground on the issue, he said, both sides needed to sit down and discuss the matter, especially following the recent announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that a special committee was being set up to study the petroleum royalty to east coast states.

“The matter will be discussed with the federal government based on my good relationship with the prime minister,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here.

Early this month, Najib had announced that the committee was given six months to study the matter before making recommendations to the federal government, which would put to rest all questions surrounding the royalty payment.

However, many state political leaders had said that a review of the petroleum royalty to east coast states should include Sarawak and Sabah since both were the main contributors to the national petroleum production.

Sarawak Barisan Nasional deputy women chief Datuk Fatimah Abdullah was quoted as saying it was time for the agreement on the five per cent oil royalty be revised since it was made more than four decades ago.

State DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng said it was the federal government’s duty to look into the interest of both states, to elevate their status to be on par with states in the peninsula. — Bernama