Rakyat will benefit when federal and state govts are like minded, says PM

From left to right: Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, Muhyiddin Yassin and Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud at the Malaysia Day celebration in Sibu. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin believes the people will benefit when the federal and state governments are like minded.

Referring to the recent agreement Putrajaya reached with Sarawak over the management of the state’s oil and gas assets, Muhyiddin said such issues were considered difficult to resolve.

In May, the Sarawak government and Petronas agreed that the national petroleum company will pay RM2 billion in settlement of the Sarawak state sales tax for 2019.

Sarawak, meanwhile, has agreed that all future payments of the state petroleum sales tax will be lower and staggered, based on future negotiations.

The east Malaysian state will also drop all claims in its civil case against Petronas and the state will have to honour all the agreements in the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

“Alhamdulillah, the issue was resolved following discussions between the two parties. I believe when the federal government and state government are like minded, the ‘rakyat’ will benefit,” he said at the Malaysia Day celebration in Sibu.

Muhyiddin expressed hope that similar negotiations would be held with Sabah after the state election on Sept 26.

Muhyiddin went on to say that Putrajaya would continue to defend Sabah and Sarawak’s sovereignty, in the wake of claims by the Philippines over Sabah.

Sabah and Sarawak, he stressed, would remain part of Malaysia.

“The government will not bow to pressure by any quarter who questions our sovereignty.”

The Philippines confirmed yesterday that it was reactivating its North Borneo Bureau “after realising that the rest of the world has forgotten (about) our Sabah claim”.

Last month, it was reported that a Philippine proposal, approved by its house foreign affairs committee, called for the Philippine map, showing a 200-mile exclusive economic zone and Sabah, to be printed on Philippine passports.