KOTA KINABALU: Jun 30, 2008
Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has suggested that the five per cent royalty the Federal Government receives from Petronas for oil extracted from Sabah be given back to the state.
He said it would be a wise move in response to the persistent call by Sabah leaders for an increase in oil royalty.
"If we want to give Sabah more money, this is the easiest thing to do for now."
He said changing the agreement with Petronas in which Sabah and the Federal Government would each receive a five per cent oil royalty would be a hassle.
Dompok said he agreed with the principle that Sabah should get more money for its oil.
"To Sabahans, that is the right thing to do."
Dompok, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, was speaking after attending a seminar on oil and gas development in Sabah organised by the party's Youth wing.
He said developing the oil and gas industry in Sabah was important and could be the anchor of the Sabah Development Corridor. He added the industry would would provide job opportunities for the people.
He also said the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline project to the Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu would not allow Sabahans to be involved in the industry.
He suggested that the government develop the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis instead.
He said he was made to understand that the gas pipeline project was to be halted but according to reports, Petronas would proceed with the RM390 million project.
"I think the Sabah government should insist that the pipeline be stopped. It is in Sabah's interests to look at the bigger picture."
Dompok said he had spoken to the prime minister and Petronas and was waiting for their response.