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Royalty: State Govt open to views
Published on: Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman assured that the State Government is open to hearing views brought up in a responsible manner on the issue of oil royalty.

"One of our roles in the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) is to uphold, protect and fight for the rights and interests of the State, for the benefit of the people.

"The oil royalty issue is not new, and clearly it is in line with the rights and interests of the State and the people. In the 13th General Elections held last year, the matter of oil royalty was clearly stated in the Sabah BN Manifesto," he said.

In line with this, "we welcome and appreciate efforts of any parties who are honest and sincere in their struggles, as long as it is for the benefit of the State and its people."

"Secondly, it is a fact that our efforts are an on-going process and which are carried out through various acceptable strategies and approaches.

"Thirdly, forums and channels have been created by the government and party leaderships based on the spirit of sharing power, inclusiveness and consensus," he said in a statement, Monday.

At the same time, Musa said in the context of the commitment to the agenda of the State's development, "we need to understand that apart from funds that are channeled in the form of royalty, the Federal Government also has a large allocation for Sabah through various other means under the Development Budget."

In fighting for the rights of the State, he said it was the Government's responsibility as citizens of Malaysia to support, protect and to work together in pushing forward the larger agendas and national interests, which indirectly, will benefit Sabah and its people.

On Saturday, three Kadazandusun BN component Youth wings namely, PBS, PBRS and Upko suggested that the Federal Government's share of the oil royalties to be given to Sabah and Sarawak, instead.

The next day, Umno Sabah deputy chief, Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said expressed support to their calls stating that it had merits to be considered seriously by the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, acting Upko President Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said there is actually no need for any Barisan Nasional (BN) component party to table a motion in Parliament on anything because they can always bring it up during the coalition's Supreme Council meeting.

The Tuaran MP said this in response to DAP Sabah's challenge to BN MPs, as reported Monday, to table a motion in the current Parliament session to discuss the calls to increase the oil royalty to Sabah.

Its chief Jimmy Wong, who issued the challenge, had said the calls to increase the oil royalty from five per cent to 20 per cent have been growing, with the latest by Sabah BN component party youth wings.

"Tabling a motion in parliament is an opposition tactic, that is not our way, that is not the way of the Barisan Nasional," he said after he officially received stewardship of the party from former President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in a symbolic handing-over at Upko Headquarters in Donggongon, Monday afternoon.

Madius said: "A 20 per cent increase in oil and gas royalty increase is actually one of the things Upko has raised in our submission to the BN headquarters before the 13th General Election.

"So it is (already) a struggle for us and we will continue to pursue within the BN perimeter.

And we are quite sure that other component parties would support it.

We will bring up the matter during the next BN Supreme Council meetingÉit is always the BN way of pursuing something internally, through discussion.

"There is no need to create hoo-ha by going to Parliament," said Madius, who also chaired his first meeting with the party's Supreme Council members after the hand-over.

He said the important thing they need to do during the meeting is re-appoint those who automatically resigned after the resignation of the president. As far as the direction of the party, he said they will continue with what Dompok as former president has done.

"Our leadership approach has always been Focus, Berani dan Ikhlas (FBI).

And perhaps the only little flavour we are going to boost is the leadership approach which I called the Servanthood Leadership, which is based on serviceÉmeaning we will lead and at the same serve the people," he said.

Meanwhile, Dompok who officially resigned on March 21 said he would continue leading Montfort Youth Training Centre as its Chairman and expressed interest in the invitation by Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) to be its Chairman.

"I have been a president for a long time, there are of course a lot of things that I can do, I will of course continue assisting the party in whatever capacity I can. As for now I would like to see a bit of Penampang, Ranau, Sabah," he said during the same press conference.

"I am involved in a few NGOs, one of then is the Monfort Youth Training Centre of which I have been Chairman for a long time nowÉrecently the Borneo Conservation Trust asked me to become the Chairman and I think this is something that I would like to do, therefore I will be seeing a bit more of the interior of Sabah," he said.

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