CM asserts Sarawak’s rights which have been eroded must be returned

A screengrab of Abang Johari delivering his speech at the launch of the State-level National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang programme via Ukas livestream on Facebook today (Aug 16, 2021).

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 16: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has called for any of Sarawak’s rights which have been eroded either intentionally or unintentionally, to be restored to the State.

He asserted that 58 years since the formation of Malaysia, Sarawak has made some progress in regaining its rights and getting a fairer return on revenue for the State and its people, thanks to the current federal government.

“Among others, Sarawak is now getting more returns from its oil and gas (O&G) revenue by imposing State Sales Tax (SST) on O&G products coming out of Sarawak.

“Secondly, through a Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) signed with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Sarawak now has equity rights in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) awarded by Petronas.

“Thirdly, Sarawak has the right to award exploration concessions for onshore oil fields such as in Miri and Marudi based on the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958,” he said when launching the State-level National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang programme which was livestreamed via the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook page today.

Abang Johari also mentioned that the current federal government has set up the Ministry of Sabah and Sarawak Affairs which is an excellent platform to involve the State governments and the federal government in negotiations to restore the rights of both States.

He explained that as part of a State based on the concept of the Federation, Sarawak must abide by that the State is governed in accordance with Federal law as well as State law.

“There are powers under the Federation and there are also powers under the States, in addition to powers under the Common List. These are all enshrined in the Federal Constitution in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“What’s important is that there should be an understanding between the federal government and the State government in the context of the establishment of Malaysia which consists of the Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah.

“The federal government and the State governments must co-exist and govern in a harmonious atmosphere in accordance with the Constitution,” he added.

The event also witnessed Abang Johari flaggin off of the Jalur Gemilang Convoy comprising 22 vehicles from various State and federal government agencies for a 34.4km tour around Kuching City.

Among agencies participating in the convoy were Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), Sarawak Information Department (JaPen), Sarawak State Secretary’s Office, Sarawak Federal Secretary’s Office, Sarawak Broadcasting Department (RTM), Pos Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Sarawak, The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Sarawak National Film Development Corporation (Finas).

A total of 100 people participated in this patriotic, albeit low-key event due to Covid-19 concerns while adhering to strict standard operating procedures (SOP).

JaPen Sarawak will also be organising the Selfie Wefie Merdeka 2021 Sarawak competition online through its official Facebook page and the KDS Tik Tok Merdeka Challenge via Khabar Dari Sarawak’s TikTok account.

Both competitions will be launched on Aug 18, offering cash prizes and digital certificates to the selected winners.

Amongst those present at today’s event were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister and the Responsible Minister for the programme Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; and Sarawak Information Director Swady Guliling. — DayakDaily