The PKR pork barreling is now in full swing.
Malaysiakini tells us in PKR: Put us in power, get 20% oil royalties that Anwar Ibrahim has promised, under his government, the oil and gas royalties for Sarawak and Sabah will be increased four folds from 5 to 20%.
Now it’s not that I don’t think Sarawak and Sabah deserve more – they do – but I question such a promise of 20%. It’s just like the PKR pre-election promise of lower fuel price – very easy to make when there’s little likelihood of bearing the responsibility of implementing the promise. Talk is cheap, so to say!
Two years ago PKR made the same promise. Then I wrote:
Well, in the recent campaign in the Sarawak elections, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah put herself and her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, in a highly vulnerable position when she raised the issue of petroleum royalty given to Sarawak in its campaign to the run-up of the May 20 state elections.
Wan Azizah said the people of Sarawak should not be paying more for petroleum products because the state produced the commodity. She claimed that since Sarawak was a large petroleum-producing state, it should be paid more than the five percent royalty it is now receiving.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister George Chan Hong Nam seized on her very comments to ricochet that on to Anwar Ibrahim, who was former deputy premier and finance minister.
Chan said words to the effect that it was rich of Wan Azizah to grandstand on the issue when it was Anwar as finance minister who rejected a request for a bigger petroleum royalty for Sarawak.
Chan revealed: "When he (Anwar) was the finance minister, I myself asked for an increment in the petroleum royalty but he didn't give. Why is his party talking about it now?”
"I asked for more development for Sarawak because we don't have enough (development) and he also did not want to give (allocations). Why is PKR talking about it now? Why didn't he give us more when he was in power? Now he is no more in power, he can talk."
Well … didn't I just say 'talk is cheap'?
But given the current climate, his sweet words will be music to Malaysians in the Eastern States because what Sarawak PKR state chief Dominique Ng said of AAB’s pathetic allocation of ministerial posts at the federal level to Sabah and Sarawak is very true.
The BN in two Eastern States won 54 parliamentary seats – 40% of the BN’s total numbers - yet their ministerial posts haven’t reflected that significant win which has allowed AAB to remain in power.
Yes, Dominique Ng has cleverly pointed out an embarrassing truth for AAB. The unjust share for the two Eastern States reflects on AAB’s and UMNO’s arrogance and greed.
The 20% royalties will now be added motivation for the Sarawakians and Sabahans to reconsider their allegiance to the BN.
AAB is certainly the worst BN chairperson who doesn’t seem to have a clue as to the new political landscape. He is still acting like the Don, a godfather to BN component parties, handing down crumbs to the very people who have just ensured his PM-ship.
He deserves to be kicked out.