Pakatan promises to give Sarawak 20 percent oil royalty

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan will keep its promise to give 20 per cent oil royalty to the state but it requires more time because of the court application filed by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recently.

Petronas filed the application last week seeking a declaration from the Federal Court that as the exclusive owner of petroleum resources and regulator for upstream activities in the country.

KUCHING: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan will keep its promise to give 20 per cent oil royalty to the state but it requires more time because of the court application filed by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recently.

Its state chairman Chong Chieng Jen said it would be more appropriate to negotiate further after the court decision on the application.

Petronas filed the application last week seeking a declaration from the Federal Court that as the exclusive owner of petroleum resources and regulator for upstream activities in the country, it requires more time to increase the current five per cent oil royalty for Sarawak.

“We will have to wait for the court decision to decide our next move. As for now, we cannot directly increase the oil royalty as the matter needs to be further discussed in the cabinet.

“Furthermore, the cabinet has yet to be fully formed,” he told the reporters at a press conference held at DAP headquarters here today.

Chong, who is the Member of Parliament for Stampin and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, assured that the party would keep its promises listed in the 14th General Election (GE14) manifesto.

He also welcomed the move to terminate the monopoly to import rice by Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) as announced by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub.

“It is expected we can enjoy cheaper rice by allowing the major rice dealers to import rice directly, without going through Bernas,” he said.

Chong said the cost of fragrant rice was about RM4,700 per metric ton (MT) and sold to the wholesaler at RM5,800 per MT.

Meanwhile, white rice was priced at RM2,400 per MT and sold to dealers at RM3,400’ per MT.

Bernas gained a gross profit between RM1,000 to RM1,100 per MT, which had burdened the people for many years.

“So it’s time to open up the market for all the major rice dealers or wholesalers to have the permit to import rice,” he said.

Sarawak, he said, consumed about 10,500 MT white rice each month.

In short, Bernas was gaining about RM8.7 million per month from Sarawak.

“Once the monopoly is terminated, the price of rice is expected to drop about 20 to 30 per cent,” he added.

Source: NST Online

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