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Batu Kitang assemblyman, Lo Khere Chiang says all Malaysians should know how Malaysia was formed

It is clear that Petronas Chief Executive who resigned recently over his disagreement with Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over a plan to pay RM2 billion in sales tax to Sarawak did not know the Malaysian Agreement 1963 and has failed to acknowledge it, said State Assemblyman Batu Kitang, Lo Khere Chiang.

Wan Zulkiflee had said in public that Sarawak had “no legal competence” to demand the sales tax and had also said that increasing royalties could make operating in Sabah and Sarawak unfeasible. Need I remind him that in 2018, Petronas had raised its dividend payment to the federal government by 50% to Rm24billion and then paid an additional special dividend of RM30billion to the federal government in 2019? That is a total payout of Rm54billion in 2019 when PH was in government. He, as CEO then had no qualms about handing that over but is suddenly struck with a bad conscience when he has to hand over just Rm2billion to Sarawak in sales tax, to a state which lacks piped water and which not only produces a major bulk of the nation’s wealth in oil and gas but is also responsible for his income and that of his many colleagues for the past 37 years because if there were no Sabah and Sarawak, there would be no Petronas. 

Lo said it is regrettable that the top Petronas boss did not want to acknowledge that without Sabah and Sarawak, there is no Malaysia. “We formed Malaysia together on 16thSeptember, 1963. It is not ‘We joined Malaysia.’This is a part of history that all Malaysians should know and understand and if you want to talk about principles, honesty and integrity, we could start with writing the country’s history based on facts, he said. 

Lo added that Sabah and Sarawak being rich in resources should be enjoying reasonable if not equally good highways and infrastructures as enjoyed by Peninsula Malaysia. Contrary to all that, there are still parts of Sarawak without basic water and electricity supply or internet connection. There was even a female student in Sabah who had to spend a night on top of a tree to take an exam online due to poor internet connection. It is the same in Sarawak with some in the interior having to climb hills to get connection on their mobile phones. This is indeed outrageous, Lo said considering the fact that about 68% of the nation’s oil comes from Sabah and Sarawak and 61% of the nation’s natural gas resources comes from Sarawak alone.

It is therefore heartening to see that the new government led by PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is open to honouring the spirit of MA63, the true intent and aspiration of Malaysia as envisaged by the Father of Malaysia, the Honourable Tunku Abdul Rahman who said:

“When the Borneo territories become part of Malaysia, they will cease to be a colony of
 Britain, and they will not be a colony of Malaya. I thought I had made it clear. They will be partners of equal status, no more and no less than the
other States now forming the Federation of Malaya.”

(Quote from The Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs, Y.T.M. TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ, K.O.M. (Kuala Kedah) on Page 451 in Dewan Rakyat Debates dated 28 April 1962)

Under PH, we could only see broken promises while the present government is principled enough to deliver on what has been promised to Sarawak. 

On the issue of Healthcare and Education autonomy,Lo said it is ironical that PH, after GE14, claimed that the 20% oil royalty was withheld because GPS refused to use the money to finance Healthcare and Education. “I think PH talks too much. First they assured us that they would return 50% tax and 20% royalty. After the election, they attached a condition that the 20% oil royalty and 50% taxes were meant to finance Health and Education when everyone knows that under the constitution, Health and Education in Malaysia is the responsibility of the Federal government. It is a lame excuse to deny giving Sarawak the money as promised, he stated. 

To me, Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is standing by his promises to Sarawak and he is honouring his promises to Sarawak. Had we still been under PH, it would still not only be dishonouring MA63, it would still be directing Petronas to take Sarawak to court. On top of all that, national interests ( as per decreed by the King) such as peaceful government, fighting Covid-19 would take a back seat to party infighting and politicking. Under the loving hand and leadership of our peaceful King, Malaysia has come through the past few months intact with much racial harmony and no rioting. That is much to be said for such a culturally diverse country.

While under PH, DAP Sarawak had to listen to Lim Guan Eng who had back tracked on all his promises to Sarawak while GPS has not wavered on its demands for Sarawak. What GPS seeks for Sarawak during the government then is the same as what GPS seeks from the government now. GPS will not support a government that does not put the King, nation and its people first. We are kingmakers, not kataks!

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