Malaysia election: 20% oil royalty will scare off firms, says Najib

BEAUFORT - The Opposition's promise to increase Sabah's oil royalty from the present 5 per cent to 20 per cent would kill off interest in developing the offshore petroleum industry, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said under the current arrangement, petroleum companies were keen to tap into marginal fields that would eventually mean an increase in revenue for Sabah.

"This will not happen with the Opposition's promise of a 20 per cent royalty share for Sabah.

"There will be no incentive for petroleum companies to develop our fields," he said when launching Yayasan Sabah's roadshow in Kuala Penyu near here.

Najib said although Sabah gets 5 per cent of petroleum revenue now, the state receives more in terms of development funds and numerous special financial allocations from the Federal Government.

At the event, the Prime Minister also launched the 1.2km-long Sitompok Bridge costing about RM59.6 million(S$24.2 million) located just outside of Kuala Penyu town.

The Kuala Penyu state constituency is located within the Beaufort parliamentary seat where PKR's Datuk Lajim Ukin is taking on Barisan Nasional's Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.

In Papar later, Najib cast doubt on the ability of the Opposition to ensure the security and protect the sovereignty of the country.

He said the Opposition insulted members of the security forces, several of whom had died defending Sabah against the Sulu intrusion in Lahad Datu and Semporna.

"Even till today, they have kept quiet about their suspicious (overseas) meetings," he told a large crowd which included Barisan's candidate for the parliamentary constituency Datuk Rosnah Shirlin.

He said that only with a strong and united government like Barisan would Malaysia be able to defend its sovereignty and bring economic growth.

"The Opposition, unlike Barisan is disunited.They have different ideologies and cannot even agree on fielding a single candidate for a seat," he said, referring to PAS and PKR contesting against each other in the Labuan parliamentary seat, among others.

Najib also promised the people of Bongawan that he would get Bank Simpanan Nasional to open a branch.

The Bongawan state constituency is located within the Kimanis parliamentary seat where Datuk Seri Anifah Aman from Barisan is standing against three candidates from PKR, STAR and SAPP.

"I know people here are keeping their money under the pillow. Datuk Seri Anifah told me there is a need for a bank," said the Prime Minister, adding that the Government would also build a sports facility for youth.

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