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KUCHING, Nov 28: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) is urging Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim to establish a Minister of Oil portfolio, as many oil-producing countries have done.
According to a press statement by its president Lina Soo, this should be done due to the fact that oil and natural gas (O&G) contribute significantly to the federal coffers, accounting for roughly a quarter of its gross domestic product (GDP).
“Since the 1970s, Malaysia has for decades been dependent on O&G for its bulk of public revenue to fund the country’s development and drive its industries,” Soo said.
She also said the position of Minister of Oil must be held by a Sarawakian because the State is the largest producer of O&G.
“For Sarawak, it is more meaningful to hold the position of Minister of Oil to safeguard the State’s O&G resources than be given the Deputy Prime Minister post with no real powers except for window dressing purposes,” she emphasised.
Soo also called on Anwar’s administration to remove the cloak of secrecy surrounding Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).
Furthermore, she urged Parliament to revisit the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) and make it a federal law applicable only to Peninsular Malaysia as she claimed it is unconstitutional and inoperative in Sarawak because the State is protected by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Sarawak Constitution, giving it ownership and economic rights over natural resources.
She also urged Anwar’s administration to do the right thing by Sarawakians and Sabahans by returning all resources and powers usurped by the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) administration in the past to the Borneo states.
“The issue about MA63 is only about immediate implementation and execution as there is no necessity for more discussions till the cows come home as the international agreement to form Malaysia was signed and sealed 59 years ago.
“We Sarawakians know what we have lost; now we want our rights and sovereign powers back — nothing more, nothing less,” she added. —DayakDaily