Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Najib on Sarawak's Oil Stand Shames Sabah BN Leaders–Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:    “The impromptu response by PM Najib that the federal government will give utmost consideration to Sarawak’s request for higher oil and gas royalties certainly has shamed the Sabah Government and BN leaders and put them in a bad light” said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah STAR Chief, in responding to PM Najib’s reply to CM Adenan’s speech on Sarawak seeking higher royalties.

While CM Adenan’s speech may not be off the cuff given that the Sarawak legislative assembly had adopted the motion unanimously to seek higher oil royalties, it was nonetheless very significant and important that Adenan had taken the occasion of Najib’s presence at the Malaysia Gawai Dayak Open House in Miri to make the request.

Adenan’s request certainly has no parallel in Sabah where the Sabah government and its BN leaders have been muted in their stand on higher oil royalties.   

Sabah Umno leaders were no were to be seen or heard on Sabah’s oil and gas rights.   Some of the other component parties had to resort to getting their youth wings to make a stand while their senior leaders were dumbfounded by the common people’s stand that Sabah should be given higher royalties if not taking back the full ownership rights.

At the legislative assembly level, it was a no-contest between Sabah and Sarawak.  The Sarawak lawmakers had made an unequivocal and clear-cut 71-0 demand for higher royalties.  On the Sabah front, a motion to debate on Sabah’s oil rights and royalties were flatly rejected and added with an emotional charade by the CM.

“With this latest development and assurance by the PM, the Sabah government and its leaders should re-assess their position and make a positive stand and at least demand for higher royalties if not for return of the oil ownership rights as well as shares in Petronas” suggested Dr. Jeffrey.

“After all, they have been boasting of and harping on the good and cordial relationship with the federal government” added Dr. Jeffrey.

These Sabah leaders should shed their vested interests and look after Sabah’s and Sabahans’ rights, interest and welfare.  They should not take Sabahans for granted any longer.

They should demand for Sabah’s oil rights for the benefit of all Sabahans, including those yet-born even if it means losing their high positions.   By not doing so, it can only mean that the good relations do not exist except in their imagination.

The Chief Minister and the Sabah government should start representing the people of Sabah as true elected representatives.   As the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman should give priority to the interests of Sabah and not the interests of Umno.   He should not be trapped in the mindset as a Umno representative but rather as the leader of all Sabahans and looking after the larger interests of all Sabahans, not Umno’s interests.

Perhaps, the Chief Minister of Sabah can go one up on his counterpart in Sarawak by seeking for shares in Petronas for Sabah and all the oil-producing States.   It is not wrong for the Chief Minister and the Sabah government to demand for ownership of Petronas.

“How wonderful it would be for Sabah if all Sabah BN leaders, at all levels, were to make a similar stand to ask for higher oil royalties and shares in Petronas and show that they are also true patriots of Sabah and not meek leaders and stooges of Kuala Lumpur” wished Dr. Jeffrey.

Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan
Chairman, Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF)
03 June 2014


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