Sarawak Pakatan says CM was aware of proposal to sell stakes in Petronas

Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen today said a proposal for Sarawak’s participation in the Petronas’ equity was brought up in a MA63 Steering Committee meeting. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Dec 15 — Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen today said a proposal for Sarawak’s participation in the Petroliam Nasional Berhad’s (Petronas) equity was brought up in a Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Steering Committee meeting.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, who attended the meeting, had indicated he had no objection to the proposal.

“Those in the Steering Committee were very much aware of this proposal,” Chong, who is a member of the committee, said in response to Abang Johari’s statement yesterday.

He said it was also decided in the meeting that the details on the state’s equity participation in Petronas was to be discussed between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abang Johari and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

“Therefore, it is incongruous for some of the GPS leaders to now turn around to claim ignorance about the offer to sell stakes in Petronas to Sarawak and Sabah,” Chong, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said.

“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 per cent share in Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd, 10 per cent share in Malaysia LNG Dua Sdn Bhd and 10 per cent share in Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd.

“In January 2018, the Sarawak Government acquired 10 per cent equity shares in Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd in Bintulu,” he added.

Chong said in April 2018, the Sarawak State Financial Secretary (SFS) announced that the state government had acquired another 15 per cent equity share in Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd, increasing the state’s equity participation in the company to 25 per cent.

“In the same announcement, the SFS also mentioned that since its first production in 1983 till 2017, Sarawak government had received a total amount of RM20 billion in dividend from its investment in the three MLNG companies.

“That was hundreds of million ringgit in dividend return annually,” he said, adding that if the shareholdings in the LNG companies can yield such good returns, likewise will the shareholdings in Petronas.

Chong urged the GPS state government not put the future and interest of Sarawak in jeopardy by missing out in the opportunity to have an equity share in Petronas.

Yesterday, Abang Johari had said that the state government would not buy stakes in Petronas as being offered by Dr Mahathir.

He had also claimed that he had no knowledge of the details of the offer.

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