Not a good time to increase oil royalty - Najib
KUCHING: Now is not a good time to consider increasing the oil royalty for Sarawak, said PM Najib Razak.
This, he explained, was due to the massive losses in the country’s revenue caused by the significant drop in global crude oil prices.
“The national revenue is in a critical state, having lost RM40 billion.
“But we will try to support Sarawak’s development needs and we have approved more allocations for the state, on top of what was provided in the 2016 Budget.”
Najib was speaking at a press conference held after a Cabinet meeting this afternoon. The meeting took place at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here – the first time after 2011 that the Cabinet has met outside Putrajaya.
His announcement also came in the midst of the Sarawak election campaign, just three days from the 11th state election.
Both the ruling party and the Opposition in Sarawak have time and again, in their effort to garner support from voters, promised higher oil royalty for the state, should they be elected into the government.
This, they claimed, would significantly improve the state’s financial resources and would subsequently lead to a drop in the cost of living.
Najib nevertheless assured the Sarawakians that the government would not abandon its promise to bring further development to the country’s largest state.
“We have approved RM3.5 billion worth of projects during my visits here and millions more will be given to Sarawak.
“The Pan Borneo Highway is a good example to show our continuous commitment towards developing the state.”
Sarawak goes to the polls on this coming 7 May.