Najib: We will consider request for oil royalty increase


(The Star) – The Federal Government is open to negotiating with Sarawak on the state government’s request for an increase in oil royalty from 5% to 20%, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Speaking at the national-level Gawai Dayak celebrations in Miri City last night, the Prime Minister said the Federal Government is willing to sit down and discuss issues of mutual interest with the state leaders based on the solid relationship between Sarawak and Putrajaya.

“The state assembly has approved a motion to seek an increase in oil royalty from 5% to 20%.

“Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan (Satem) has been whispering into my ears about this.

“We are willing to listen and talk. We will consider whether it will be an increase in oil royalty or if we can look at other forms of directly raising the allocation into the state accounts.

“The f ederal and state governments have an excellent relationship, so there is no problem negotiating this,” he told more than 10,000 people gathered at the Miri City Fan Recreational Park.

Najib said he was confident that Adenan would lead Sarawak to greater heights.

Adenan, in his speech, said Najib had never failed to celebrate the major festivities in Sarawak and the state was grateful to him for his concern towards the people.

Earlier, speaking at the Gawai open house at Rumah Jerek in the Lambir sub-district, near here, Najib hailed Sarawak for having used the right formula in its state administration, making it the model state in terms of social harmony.

Sarawak, he said, had employed the correct approach in its multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-ethnic manner of state administration towards attaining not only social harmony but political stability as well.

“Sarawak’s social harmony and political stability is something that must not be taken for granted,” he added.

He also paid tribute to the Sarawak people’s contribution towards Barisan Nasional stability in the state and country.

Najib said the Federal Government was grateful to all Sarawakians, from the major to minor communities, for their roles in shaping the nation’s progress.

“I am just back from a five-day visit to China, I should be taking at least one or two days off to rest.

“But I flew straight from China to Miri just so that I can be with you for Gawai. I believe in being inclusive in sharing the joy of Gawai with the people of Sarawak,” he added.