Seeking to be master of its own destiny
John Teo | 08 Dec 2017 00:30

If there had been any doubts that Sabah and Sarawak seeking to exert their full rights under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63) is, at heart, a matter of finances, recent actions and statements by state leaders, particularly from Sarawak, largely put paid to those doubts.

Nothing much will come of either state having more complete governing autonomy without their having access to greater financial resources and the autonomy to decide alone what to do with such resources. And nothing, therefore, galvanises such talk over autonomy more than attaining a new consensus with the federal government over, principally, how revenues obtained from oil and gas (O&G) resources extracted from either state are shared with that particular state.

Since the state’s official demand for a 20% share of O&G royalties (up from the current 5%) has been rebuffed for several years, the Sarawak government has gone about a rather circuitous route in its efforts to increase its share of revenues derived from extraction of its O&G resources.