Rahman Dahlan bashes LGE: 20% oil royalties would cover all Sarawak debts

(The Star) – Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng should first keep the Pakatan Harapan election promise of giving 20% oil royalties to the eastern states of Malaysia before asking Sarawak to repay its loans, says an Umno supreme council member.

Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said this following a statement by Lim that the Federal Government was ready to extend RM350mil to the Sarawak government for school repairs if it first paid back loans of the same amount to Putrajaya.

“It is arrogant of (Lim) Guan Eng to ask Sarawak to pay up before he can give the allocation for dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

“In the first year of Guan Eng as the Finance Minister, he took RM82bil from Petronas. I am sure most of that came from Petronas profits in Sarawak’s coast.

“Recalling the DAP national retreat programme before the 14th General Election (GE14), he announced after the retreat that if PH won GE14, they would be fair to Sabah and Sarawak which they claimed had been marginalised (dianaktirikan) by Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Guan Eng even publicly said he agreed to Sabah and Sarawak getting the 20% oil royalties,” he posted on his official Facebook account, referring to the promised increase from the current 5%.

Rahman said that according to a report by The Edge Markets on July 26 last year, the 5% oil royalties for Sarawak was worth RM1.58bil, which means the additional 15% promised would amount to RM4.74bil.

In the case of Sabah, their 5% oil royalty amounted to RM1.32bil, so an additional 15% would be RM3.96bil.

“Therefore there’s no need for Guan Eng to ask Sarawak to clear its debts first; the same goes with Sabah.

“As Finance Minister, (he should) keep his promise first to pay the additional 15% or RM4.74bil to Sarawak,” he said.

Rahman added that the money would be enough not only to repair dilapidated schools but also completely settle Sarawak’s debts to the Federal Government.