Advocates’ association to help govt defend Swak’s rights

Ranbir Singh Sangha

KUCHING, June 7: The Advocates’ Association of Sarawak will form a task force to assist the state government in matters relating to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Sarawak’s rights.

Its president, Ranbir Singh Sangha, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had given his blessing for the association to form the task force, whose responsibilities would include dealing with the recent Petronas court action.

He said the task force could be formed by tomorrow even though there were no time frames given.

On June 4, the national oil giant filed an application before the Federal Court seeking for a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) being the law applicable for the petroleum industry in Malaysia.

The application was also to state that Petronas is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources as well as the regulator for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.

“We are forming a task force to assist in any way we can, at anytime, in relation to the MA63 and the state’s rights,” said Ranbir to reporters this afternoon after attending a meeting with Abang Johari at the State Legislative Assembly building.

“Now we are waiting for the course papers on the relevant suits. That is all I can say at this time.”

Ranbir declined to reveal what had transpired during the meeting between lawyers and Abang Johari earlier.

“We will take things on an as-is basis … when issues come up, we will deal with them immediately. We will also be in communication with the state AG (Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid),” said Ranbir.

Asked if costs were involved for engaging private lawyers, especially members of the Association, he said the lawyers were doing it for free for the sake of the state and its rights.

“We will fight tooth and nail,” he assured. — DayakDaily