Shafie to meet Mahathir on Dec 16 for oil royalty talks

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal says the state’s options have been forwarded to Petronas.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said he won’t pre-empt talks that Putrajaya may consider selling a stake in Petronas to Sabah.

He said he would have a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg in Putrajaya on the oil royalty issue this Dec 16.

“There have been a number of discussions on the oil royalty with the authorities and Petronas previously.

“We had forwarded the state’s options to Petronas and we will look at the practicality of each of them and decide which one will work best for all parties — Petronas, the Sabah and Sarawak governments and Putrajaya,” he told reporters after officiating the Kota Kinabalu Christmas celebrations.

The options Shafie was referring to include Putrajaya failing to raise the states’ oil royalty from 5% to 20%.

Mahathir said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that the government would consider selling Petronas stakes to Sabah and Sarawak, as the two states were demanding a bigger share of revenues from oil extracted in their territories.

He said Putrajaya could not meet the states’ demand to increase the royalties paid by Petronas to 20%, but that government could let go of its stakes in smaller units of Petronas.

Sabah and Sarawak hold more than 60% of Malaysia’s oil reserves.

Some Sabah leaders have urged the Sabah government to refuse the offer to buy a stake in Petronas.

On another note, Shafie said he was thankful to Sabah PH for letting Warisan contest in the forthcoming Kimanis by-election.

A meeting held earlier tonight by Sabah PH chairman Christina Liew, attended by leaders from component parties, namely Sabah PPBM, Sabah Amanah, Sabah PKR and Sabah DAP, had unanimously agreed to let Warisan contest in the by-election.

The Kimanis federal seat was vacated after the Federal Court decided to uphold the election court declaration that the Kimanis election result, which saw the victory of BN’s Anifah Aman, was null and void.

This will pave the way for a by-election which has yet to be called by the Election Commission.

Shafie said he would inform Mahathir of the Sabah PH’s decision when he meets the prime minister in Putrajaya on Dec 16, during the oil royalty discussion.

He also said he will call for a meeting with Warisan, Sabah PH and Upko soon to discuss the strategies to win the by-election.