KUCHING: Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing has questioned the rationale in asking the people of Sabah and Sarawak to remain patient for development projects to be implemented, considering that the states are major oil and gas producers in the country.
Masing, who is Baleh assemblyman, was not impressed with
the recent statement by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that
people of the two states should be patient for natural resources to be
extracted and the fruit of foreign investments to materialise before
they can experience the same tempo of development as their counterparts
in the Peninsula.
“Mahathir asked Sarawakians and Sabahans to be
patient? Our oil and gas resources are depleting, almost finished and he
asked us to be patient? If we have used our oil and gas revenue
strictly for our own state all these years, Sarawak would definitely be
on par with Peninsular Malaysia in terms of development,” he said when
Masing is no stranger when it comes to championing the cause in raising oil and gas royalty for the state.
recently suggested that the proposed special committee set up by the
federal government to review oil and gas royalties should include Sabah
and Sarawak as both states were the main contributors to the national
Dr Mahathir also opined that the development of Sabah and Sarawak has “outstripped” the peninsula.
He said the state has the highest foreign direct investment and Sabah has the largest reserves of petroleum in the country.
The oil and gas royalty for Sabah and Sarawak is currently at five per cent.