1) DETAINED MALAYSIAN FISHING VESSEL TO RETURN HOME TODAY
Passengers and crew on board a Malaysian fishing vessel, which was detained by Indonesian authorities on Wednesday, have been released and are expected to arrive at Santubong Boat Club today.
The 11 Malaysian passengers and three crew, two Malaysians and an Indonesian were caught about 53 nautical miles north of Tanjung Datu for allegedly encroaching into the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
According to Indonesian media reports, the vessel, named NEMO, was towed to the Indonesian National Army (TNI) navy base at Riau Island where it remained until those onboard were released.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak director Maritime Captain Robert Teh Geok Chuan in a statement yesterday said the vessel was released following successful talks between the agency and TNI.
Earlier yesterday, several fishing boat operators held a press conference at the Bintawa fishing pier, whereby they claimed that it was ‘common’ for Malaysian fishing vessels to be wrongfully detained in the South China Sea.
2) SARAWAK TO FIND OTHER WAYS TO GENERATE INCOME
Sarawak will find its own ways and means to generate income instead of waiting for the oil and gas royalty because negotiations on the matter are still ongoing since the tenure of the previous chief minister.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the government was playing an active role in finding other sources of income like the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry, and charging five per cent sales tax on petroleum products.
During the Chinese New Year dinner in Siniawan bazaar on Wednesday he said, they were still waiting for the decision to increase the oil and gas royalty from five to 20 per cent. But so far there was no decision yet so they have no option but to find other means to earn income to develop the state.
Abang Johari however disagreed with the calculation announced by the Pakatan Harapan government in July last year of a 20 per cent royalty payment to oil and gas-producing states based on the profit generated.
He said Sarawak wanted the royalty payment to be calculated based on the production of oil and gas from the state.
Abang Johari added that the GPS government would continue to fight for Sarawak’s eroded rights and its autonomy.