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KUCHING, May 4: Democratic Action Party (DAP) candidate for Stampin Chong Chieng Jen challenged Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders to make a stand against Sarawak Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for giving up the state’s rights over its oil and gas resources back in a 1974 parliamentary sitting when he was a state minister.
Chong during a press conference today revealed a copy of the Hansard of the sitting dated July 24, 1974 and pointed out that it was Taib, who was Minister of Primary Resources back then, who had given up Sarawak’s oil and gas rights to the federal government.
Based on the Hansard, Chong pointed out that Taib had tabled the Petroleum Development Bill, whereby all the rights and ownership over oil and gas in Sarawak, onshore or offshore, were to be vested in the corporation by virtue of that bill.
“That corporation was later called Petronas. The bill that vested all our oil and gas rights and ownership in Petronas was tabled by a Sarawak minister, Taib who was the Minister of Primary Industries.
“This is evidence that local Sarawak parties, and their leaders and MPs, who were in Parliament gave up our rights over our natural resources. If Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) truly wants to champion the interest of Sarawakians and Sarawak, they have to undo what was done by Taib in 1974.
“Since then a lot of our rights have been eroded either by the Sarawak BN or with the consent of Sarawak BN,” he said.
Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, said that at the time passing a bill was as simple as voting by voice, unless at least one MP objected.
“There were no opposition MPs from Sarawak back then. When voting by voice, actually no matter how loud the opposition shouted, the speaker will rule out that the ‘aye’s will have it.
“Therefore when voting by voice the presumption is that all BN MPs agreed and that is a legitimate assumption unless there was an objection and request for a headcount or division, meaning all votes were to be recorded,” he explained. — DayakDaily