Stop Kimanis-Bintulu gas siphoning
SAPP maintains that Sabah should keep its natural
gas for local industries
KOTA KINABALU, July 24, 2010: The State government should not have agreed
to or allowed Petronas to siphon the natural gas from offshore of Sabah
all the way to Bintulu, Sarawak in the first place, if it was really
serious about developing the local industries, the oil and gas industry in
particular, said Luyang State Assemblywoman, Melanie Chia.
For the same token, Petronas should not have even think of such a plan let
alone pushing for it despite strong objection from the people of Sabah,
besides Federal Cabinet's instruction (to Petronas) to give priority to
Sabah if the State required the resources, as what has been noted by
Plantation Industries and Commodity Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in his
statement two months ago.
Dompok also noted that there was a guarantee that no gas will be
transported to Sarawak through the Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline if there is a
need for gas in Sabah.
Melanie who is also the Women Chief for Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)
contended this while responding to a statement by State Industrial
Development Minister, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah on Friday, that Petronas
will only agree to let Sabah keep a portion of the gas channeled to the
Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal if it is able to substantially build up its
infrastructure and manpower to support the oil and gas industry in Sabah.
She further contended that the siphoning of Sabah natural gas to Sarawak
clearly showed that Petronas was never sincere to allow Sabah to develop
its gas industry.
"They (Petronas) have been taking our resources since 1976. Until today,
we do not see any development in gas downstream industries in Sabah. This
somehow caused many people to wonder why a state like Melaka which has no
natural gas and oil can have downstream industries in oil and gas," she
On Tan's assertion that the State need to first ensure that there are
proper infrastructures and adequate human resources in place, before
convincing investors to come in to invest in the said industries in Sabah,
she turned around and asked what had happened to the Sun Bear Polar Sdn
Bhd (Sun Bear Polar) which was supposed to build RM5.3 billion plant in
the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) to produce solar glass panels
with silica sand from Pulau Balambangan, in northern Sabah.
In April this year, Tan had said KKIP needed the state government's
assistance to resolve various issues, including getting natural gas supply
from Petronas Bhd at 42 million cubic feet daily, electricity supply at
354 megawatts and access to the silica supply at Pulau Balambangan.
He said this in response to a question from Datuk Liew Teck Chan (SAPP-Likas)
during the last State Legislative Assembly sitting.
Melanie noted that she had in fact warned that the proposed investment by
Sun Bear Polar would fail if the State government is unable to help to
ensure adequate natural gas supply by Petronas.
"The question here is whether the State government is able to ensure
adequate supply of natural gas by Petronas. Can the Minister concerned
please tell us where is Sun Bear Polar now?" she asked.
She reiterated that if the proposed signing with Sun Bear Polar Sdn Bhd
fail, Sabah stands to lose the RM5.3 billion investment which promised to
create 1,082 employment opportunity; development of supporting industries
and the development of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), income
from land revenue, besides RM2.5 million in annual tax.
She thus urged Tan who is also Vice President for Gerakan to stop issuing
rhetorical statement to mislead the people of Sabah over the issue, and to
convince his party president cum Minister in the Prime Minister's
Department, Tan Sri Koh Shu Koon to convince his immediate boss cum Prime
Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to instruct Petronas to stop the
Kimanis-Bintulu gas pipeline project, if he is really sincere and
committed to developing the various industries in Sabah.
"I believe it is not too late still to stop the said project," she said.