The Borneo Post (Sabah)

BN confident oil royalty issue will not sway voters – Uggah

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MIRI: Barisan Nasional (BN) is confident that the issue of oil royalty harped by Pakatan Harapan ahead of the 14th General Election (GE14) will not sway voter sentiment in Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas described the issue to grant 20 per cent royalty to Sarawak was an old one that was recycled by the opposition.

"This is an old issue, full control over the oil and gas industry in Sarawak has been given to the state government, we will get returns of more than 20 per cent (of the royalty)," he told reporters after officiatin­g the Miri level Rabies Mass Vaccinatio­n programme here yesterday.

Uggah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president, was also confident that voters in Sarawak were wise enough to judge for themselves all the efforts particular­ly relating to reclaiming Sarawak's rights as stipulated in the Federal Constituti­on made by the state government.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that Sarawak would assume full regulatory control over the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state by July as part of the devolution of powers from the federal government.

Abang Johari made the announceme­nt when he launched Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and assured that Sarawak would exploit its natural resources of oil and gas as provided for constituti­onally under the State List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constituti­on.

He said the devolution of powers was in keeping with the agreement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to return to Sarawak the powers provided for in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 that had been inadverten­tly eroded over the years.

The formation of Petros and the exercising of the constituti­onal rights under item 2(c) of the State List and 8(j) of the Federal List, as provided in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constituti­on, were the outcome of the discussion­s on the devolution of powers between the state and federal government­s, he added.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen, when launching the first phase of the opposition pact's manifesto for the GE14 recently, was quoted as saying that they would increase the oil royalty for Sarawak to 20 per cent should they win the election.

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