Umno to Lim: Pay up the 20% oil royalty to Sarawak first

Umno to Lim: Pay up the 20% oil royalty to Sarawak first

KOTA KINABALU: An Umno supreme council member lashed out Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today, urging the Pakatan Harapan leader to fulfill their election pledge of giving 20% oil royalty to East Malaysia before asking Sarawak to repay its debts.

In a Facebook post, former minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan accused Lim of being arrogant for saying that the latter will only disburse funds to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak after the state paid off its dues to the Federal Government.

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

“In the first year of Lim as the Finance Minister, he took RM82 billion 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, he announced that if Pakatan won GE14, they would be fair to Sabah and Sarawak which they claimed had been marginalised by Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Lim even publicly said he agreed to Sabah and Sarawak getting the 20% oil royalties,” said Abdul Rahman.

Yesterday, Lim said that the federal government will expedite the channelling of RM350 million for the first phase of the dilapidated school repair project in Sarawak as soon as the state government repays its debts of the same amount to Putrajaya.

The Bagan MP said that the state government still owes the federal government RM2.352 billion as of June 30 this year.

Lim added that the federal government had basically agreed to accept the amount as part of the state government’s loan repayment amounting to RM1 billion, to repair dilapidated schools in the state, subject to the four legal mechanisms agreed by both sides.

However, Parti Sosialis Malaysia deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan criticised Lim and called him a bully for holding Sarawak to ransom over the matter.

The PSM leader said that the state government would not be asking for federal aid if they had the money and called upon Lim not to use education as bait for votes.

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

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

“So, there’s no need for Lim to ask Sarawak to clear its debts first. The same goes to Sabah.

“As Finance Minister, Lim should keep his promise first to pay the additional 15% or RM4.74 billion to Sarawak.

“Not only will that money be enough to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak but it will also help the state to settle its debts with Putrajaya completely,” said Abdul Rahman.

By G Vinod