PAPAR August 22, 2012: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman believes the state’s five percent petroleum royalty review issue is open for amicable discussion with the federal government.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was a caring leader who was always prepared to listen to the people and their needs.
Musa, who is also state Finance Minister, said the good relationship between the state and federal governments also benefited Sabahans through large allocations which helped to propel the state forward.
“Therefore, I believe this issue (petroleum royalty) is open for discussion and what’s important is we scrutinise the matter and reach the best decision for the mutual benefit of all concerned,” he said.
Musa was speaking to reporters after attending the Papar Umno Aidilfitri open house hosted by the constituency’s Member of Parliament Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, Kawang assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan and Pantai Manis assemblyman Datuk Rahim Ismail at the Community Hall here yesterday.
On Monday night, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was quoted as saying the state government would discuss the need to review the five percent petroleum royalty paid to Sarawak, with the federal government.
Admitting that state government and opposition leaders in Sarawak have reached a consensus on the issue, Taib said both parties needed to meet and discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who also attended the open house, said he welcomes any acts and measures that would be beneficial to the people, including reviewing the oil royalties.
“I believe it will be discussed. And the rates would then depend on the discussion,” he said.
Early this month, Najib announced that a special committee would be set up to study the petroleum royalty payments involving the eastern states of Peninsula Malaysia, in a fair and transparent manner.
The committee was given six months to study the issue before submitting its proposals to the federal government.
Also present at the open house were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin, State Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, Papar Division Chief Datuk Rahim Ismail and Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, who is also the Member of Parliament here, Kawang Assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar and Pantai Manis assemblyman Datuk Rahim Ismail.