By Peter Marajin (In response to YB Datuk Rahman Dahlan in today's Borneo Post, January 4, 2013)
Oil is a State owned natural resource. If it is not profitable, then why did the Federal Government saw it fit to snatch this important resource of revenue from the Sabah in the first place?
Petronas has never been transparent in its operation and financial account since 1976 until today. Why is Petronas so secretive? Since this natural resources belongs to the rakyat of Sabah, the rakyat have every right to know its operations and financial position. Petronas' money is the Sabahans' money. Hence, the Petronas' account must be subject to public scrutiny.
The only small piece of information which has reached the public knowledge about Petronas' operation is that Sabah produces about One Million barrels of crude oil per day out of which 5% goes to Sabah, being the oil producing State, and another 5% goes to the Federal Government. After deducting operating costs the nett profit of the remaining 90% barrels goes to the Federal Government being the sole shareholder and beneficiary of Petronas. By a rough calculation based on the above information Sabah gets 50,000.00 barrels a day (i.e. based on the 5%) which equal to 4.45,000 USD (or RM13.7 Million) a day. A year is RM4.97 Billion. Now, how much nett profit does the Federal Government get out of the remaining 90% or 900,000 barrels a day is anyone's guess.
If Petronas cannot manage its operation after 15% increase of royalty to Sabah as YB Datuk Rahman Dahlan claimed, then being an MP for BN he should now advise Petronas to close shop. It would be prudent for Petronas to give back its operation to the Sabah State Government. The State Government would then decide either to manage its oil industry by itself or award its oil operation to competent oil companies like Shell and or others. After all, after 36 years Sabahans have not benefited much from their very own oil and gas resources. In fact, Sabah has turned into a POOREST land in the country.
It is rather absurd for Petronas to complain now about its operating costs and non-profitability after 36 years in operation. It is like a father on a dinner table with his children, saying "This fish taste awful" discouraging them to not even touch it, yet he himself walloping it into his stomach all by himself.
Peter Marajin is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Supreme Councillor and a practising lawyer.