Sarawak rejects stake in Petronas, says CM

Sarawak chief minister Abang Johari says the state would have little say. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Sarawak state government has reportedly rejected a federal offer of a stake in the national oil company Petronas, according to Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

He said it would be pointless for Sarawak to buy a stake in Petronas as the state government would not have a say in how the company should be managed.

“Under the Petronas constitution, the power is for number one,” and even the Petronas board did not have the power that the prime minister had over the company, he said according to the Malay Mail.

Yesterday, Abang Johari had said in response to media inquiries that there had been no offer to sell a stake in Petronas to Sarawak.

The prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had said on Wednesday that the government would consider selling shares in Petronas to Sabah and Sarawak, which hold 60% of Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves. The two states have demanded a 20% royalty on oil and gas revenues, a figure that Mahathir said would break Petronas.

Abang Johari, speaking at a development event in Bau, said the state government needed to be careful to protect state’s rights, including oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters, and took issue with a federal law, the Territorial Sea Act 2012, that had reduced Sarawak’s territorial limit to three nautical miles from the low tide line.

He said the state government must protect its territorial boundary of up to 200 nautical miles which he said was established in 1954 by an order in council. He said the state’s boundaries could only be changed with the agreement of the state assembly and the Conference of Rulers.