Sabah leaders have not wavered in their pursuit for an upward review in the oil royalty payment. This is despite the 1976 agreement between the state and the Federal government containing no provision for such a review.
Chief minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said Umno and other state Barisan Nasional leaders have forwarded proposals to the Federal government for the review.
“Our call for a review of the oil royalty was based on the aspirations of the people and also in the interests of the state.”
The 1976 agreement provides for a five% royalty payment to Sabah for oil and gas extracted from the state’s offshore waters.
State leaders have requested that the royalty to be increased up to 20% on grounds that Sabah needed more funds to develop the state.
However, Musa said it must be understood that a decision on the matter may take time as it required a consensus and commitment from various quarters.
“Although the amount of royalty to Sabah has until now remained at the current rate, we should not be looking at the issue on the royalty aspect only,” he said, adding that Sabah had over the years received billions of ringgit in federal allocation.
He cited the RM20 billion federal allocation to the state under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, RM2.3 billion for the Sabah Development Corridor and several billion ringgit for road, health, education and rural development.
Musa accused the opposition, particularly Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, of politicising the oil royalty issue.
“When he (Anwar) was the deputy prime minister and minister of finance, he did not fight for an increase in Sabah’s oil royalty.”