By Melanie Chia
It is a mockery that BN Sabah failed to understand what is oil royalty. Instead of supporting the call to increase the oil royalty for Sabah, BN Sabah still want to confuse the people comparing oil royalty to development funds from the Federal Government.
SAPP reaffirms that Sabah deserves more from what is taken from Sabah and asking for an increase in oil royalty is not out of the ordinary. In fact, it should have been a move taken up by the Sabah State
"What is the use of being a fixed deposit State if you do no know how to harness this fixed deposit! Furthermore, it had been more than 35 years since Sabah signed the oil agreement."
Sabah Barisan Nasional Secretary and MP for Kota Belud Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan's worry that Sabah will be 'worse off' if an increase in Sabah oil royalty lead to a reduction in federal allocation for development is unfounded.
Sabah BN leaders should not confuse the people with the notion that more of one will lead to less of the other fund. We deserve both and we should have both the monies.
Development funding from the Federal Government allocated for development in the State is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Sabah should have received it's fair share of this development funds since the formation of Malaysia in 1963. It is only in the recent years that Sabah received greater attention and gets an increase in it's share of the Federal Government's allocation for development.
Sabah gets a mere 5% in oil royalty from the oil agreement signed in 1976. PETRONAS, the national oil company incorporated in 1974 is vested with the entire ownership and control of the petroleum resources in Malaysia. For having surrendered all the oil and gas resources, PETRONAS pays the 5% oil royalty to the Sabah State
Government and likewise, the Federal Government also gets 5% oil royalty on top of all the other taxes it collect from the oil and gas industry.
Sabah ought to stop enslaving itself hoping for more federal allocations which should have been due anyhow as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Asking for more oil royalty now after more than 35 years is only asking for a bit more of what Malaysians in Sabah rightly deserved.
Melanie Chia is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Women chief cum State Assemblywoman for N.16 Luyang