Chong urges GPS should not try to play politics on the proposed equity participation in Petronas

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Press Statement by YB Chong Chieng Jen:

The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders should not try to play politics when it comes to such serious matter on the proposed equity participation in Petronas.

The idea of Sarawak participating in the Petronas’ equity has been mooted in the MA63 Steering Committee and Abang Jo has, in the meeting, indicated he has no objection to the proposal. Those in the Steering Committee were very much aware of this suggestion. It was further decided in the MA63 Steering Committee that the details on the State’s equity participation in Petronas is to be discussed between the Prime Minister and the 2 Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak.

Therefore, it is incongruous of some of the GPS leaders to now turn around to claim ignorance about the offer.

In fact, Sarawak’s equity participation in oil and gas production started with the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants with the Sarawak State Government holding 5% share in Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd, 10% share in Malaysia LNG Dua Sdn Bhd and 10% share in Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd.

In January, 2018, the Sarawak Government acquired 10% equity shares in Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd in Bintulu.
(https://www.nst.com.my/business/2018/01/325596/sarawak-now-owns-10-pct-stake-petronas-train-9)

In April, 2018, the Sarawak State Financial Secretary (SFS) announced that the State Government acquired another 15% equity share in Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd, increasing the State’s equity participation in the company to 25%.
(https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/04/13/sarawak-govt-ups-stake-in–malaysia-lng-tiga-to-25pct)

In the same announcement, the SFS also mentioned that since its first production in 1983 till 2017, Sarawak Government has received a total amount of RM20 billion in dividend from its investment in the 3 MLNG companies. That was hundreds of million Ringgit in dividend return annually.

If the shareholdings in the LNG companies can yield such good returns, likewise will the shareholdings in Petronas.

In fact, even during the late Adenan’s time, he has been talking about Sarawak Government should acquire an equity share in Petronas. But sadly, at that time, the then BN Federal Government refused to divest any portion of its equity share in Petronas to Sarawak State Government because the then BN Federal Government wanted to keep to itself all the lucrative dividend and revenue Petronas generates for its shareholder.

That is also why, when the notion of Sarawak Government acquiring an equity share in Petronas was suggested in the MA63 Steering Committee meeting, no one objected (including Abang Jo) and all agreed that the detailed discussion of the matter be referred to the separate meeting between the Prime Minister and the 2 Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak.

The question now is, all along the Sarawak State Government wanted an equity share in Petronas but refused by the then BN Government, BUT, when the PH Government offers the opportunity for Sarawak State Government to have an equity share in Petronas, why is the GPS politicians objecting to such offer?

It is thus obvious that the GPS leaders are merely playing politics in claiming ignorance of the matter and objecting to the offer. My sincere appeal to them is that, whatever politics they want to play, do not put the future and interest of Sarawak in jeopardy by missing out in the opportunity to have an equity share in Petronas, which was also the wish of the late Adenan Satem.

Chong Chieng Jen
Pakatan Harapan Sarawak Chairman