BINTULU, Sept 29 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said the state government is prepared to go to court to get its share of revenue from Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), if the oil company does not pay the 5 per cent sales tax on the export of petroleum and petroleum products.
He said the state is within its rights to receive the share as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.
“We do not want to lose out in our fight to get our share of the revenue because oil and gas resources belong to us,” he said at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a 30km Tatau-Kuala Tatau road in Bintulu.
“We have the laws to ensure that our rights over oil and gas resources are given to us,” he said, adding that the state government has many experienced lawyers who will help the state government to fight with Petronas in court.
The chief minister said the state government is not scared of Petronas in a court battle.
“Petronas has taken us to court before, and we won on technical grounds,” he said, referring to the company’s application for leave from the Federal Court to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government relating to rights over upstream activities in Sarawak.
Abang Johari also said the coming state election will determine if the state will continue to be in the hands of Sarawakians or outsiders.
“If Sarawak slips off our hands, and into the hands of outsiders, it will be useless for us to cry, even if we shed tears of blood,” he said.
He claimed disunity and racial disharmony will arise, and the Bumiputeras will be weak if the state is ruled by outsiders.
“In Peninsular Malaysia, the Bumiputeras are weak because they are divided into five groups, such as Umno, PAS, PKR, Bersatu and Amanah.
“We don’t want to see this thing to happen in Sarawak,” he said, adding that the racial unity and racial harmony in Sarawak is strong because all the races are cooperating and working with each other in the development of the state.
The construction of the first phase of the Tatau-Kuala Tatau road, which commenced on February 27 this year, is expected to be completed within 24 months.
Construction on the second phase will be carried under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Among those present at the function were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Progressive Democratic Party President Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Parti Rakyat Sarawak deputy president Datuk Joseph Salang.