Discussions on oil royalties for Sabah, S'wak still ongoing – Liew
KUALA LUMPUR: Discussions on the percentage of oil royalties for Sabah and Sarawak are still ongoing between the Federal and state governments.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the decision on the matter would only be made after the final meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee set up to fine-tune the matter.
“Discussions on the issue of oil royalties were held in a separate forum involving the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak. The issue will continue to be discussed,” he said.
He was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili (BN-Kota Marudu) who wanted to know about the development of discussions on increasing oil royalties to Sabah and Sarawak discussed at a Cabinet Special Committee meeting set up to review the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the Special Cabinet Committee set up to fine-tune the method of payment of oil royalty claims has been given six months for discussions and to come up with decisions.
Mohamed Azmin said this would give enough time to make recommendations before the final decision on how to increase the oil royalty from five per cent to 20 per cent could be carried out.
Liew said seven issues had been agreed upon. These include the demand for timber and forest produce export duties; distribution of gas and electrical regulatory power; implementation of Federal and State works projects; manpower; state authority on health issues; administrative management over Sipadan and Ligitan islands and agriculture and forestry issues.
In December last year, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad chaired the first special cabinet steering committee for a review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to restore the privileges to Sabah and Sarawak.