Friday, November 21, 2008
SATURDAY-22 NOVEMBER 2008-ANWAR WILLING TO NEGOTIATE OIL ROYALTY REVIEW WITH KL
ANWAR WILLING TO NEGOTIATE OIL ROYALTY REVIEW WITH KL
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is willing to negotiate a review on the oil royalty with the Federal Government.
“What is stopping any State Government from negotiating and re- negotiating the agreement? There is no provision,” he said in responding to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman’s statement that Sabah cannot seek a revision of the five per cent petroleum royalty.
Stressing that it is not provided for in the 1976 petroleum agreement signed between the State and Federal Governments, Musa who is also the State Finance Minister, urged the people to realise that there are still many opportunities to benefit from crude oil in Sabah waters.
“I believe the Chief Minister is wrong because anything concerning the oil royalty is negotiable between the State and Federal Governments. If he (Musa) is not ready to discuss the matter, he should have let Pakatan Rakyat take over so that we can negotiate,” said Anwar who is on a two-day visit to Sabah.
His remarks however drew laughter from the crowd yesterday but Anwar stressed that he was not joking.
“The policy stand that we have the means to grant 20 per cent royalty to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak, and to oil-producing States for that matter.
“Given that scenario, the State should find it easier to negotiate because they will only go through the financial procedures, make sure it is full observed and what are the terms,” he said.
“If the Chief Minister of Sabah thinks this is not possible, (then) Sabahans should not give him the mandate,” Anwar stressed.
Musa had said in the Finance Ministry’s winding up speech during the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Thursday that some of the opportunities had been channelled to the Ninth Malaysia Plan through several high impact projects such as a petrochemical industry and power plant.