KUCHING, June 8: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing today questions the whereabouts of state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chiefs Chong Chieng Jen and Baru Bian when some 50 Sarawak lawyers came together yesterday to look into the Petronas oil claims.
The deputy chief minister also questioned the stance of the duo on this issue that is affecting the future of Sarawak.
“Petronas is now suing Sarawak for the rights to oil and gas. Where do Chong and Baru stand on this issue?” wondered Masing in a statement.
He challenged them to express their stance on this matter.
“Their silence is deafening, and the reasons are only best known to themselves. However, they cannot keep silent for long as their supporters will demand an answer.”
Masing said Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, did come out with a statement, but the content only served to blame the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
He added that Chong failed to state his stance while Baru, who is Selangau MP and Ba ‘Kelalan assemblyman, was totally mute.
“As leaders of PH, they must state their stance on the Petronas suit. Do they support Petronas or Sarawak in this case?” asked Masing.
On June 4, Petronas filed an application before the Federal Court seeking a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) being the law applicable for the petroleum industry in Malaysia.
The declaration would make Petronas the exclusive owner of petroleum resources as well as the regulator for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.
Petronas, in a statement issued on June 4, said it believed that the determination by the Federal Court would help provide clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.
The national oil giant said it would remain committed to supporting Sarawak’s aspirations to participate in the oil and gas industry, but it had to be within the framework of the PDA.
The case will be heard by the Federal Court on June 12 in Putrajaya.
Yesterday, the state government gathered some 50 lawyers from all over Sarawak to see how best to deal with this case.
The lawyers also met Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to discuss the case at his office in the State Legislative Assembly Complex. — DayakDaily