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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Jan 26: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today said the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) is not applicable to Sarawak.
The law on oil and gas that is applicable to Sarawak is the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO), he pointed out.
The chief minister explained that the PDA was passed when Malaysia was under the Emergency. However, in 2011, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak lifted it.
“When the Emergency was lifted, whatever laws enacted during the Emergency cannot be used anymore … meaning freedom.
“As PDA was enacted during the Emergency, it has nothing to do with us because PDA was never passed in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN),” he said at the launching of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Zone One cum its townhall session at Penview Convention Centre here.
GPS Zone One encompasses six constituencies: Tanjung Datu, Pantai Damai, Demak Laut, Tupong, Samariang and Satok.
Abang Johari emphasised that all laws that affect Sarawak must be passed by the state legislature to be effective.
“Because the law (PDA) is never passed in DUN, it is not applicable to Sarawak. It has nothing to do with us,” he reiterated.
OMO, on the other hand, was passed when Sarawak was still a British colony.
OMO was enacted in 1958 to allow Shell to mine oil and gas in Sarawak, and until today, the law is never repealed — thus still effective.
“In terms of oil and gas, we have our own law, and the law that we are using is OMO. We are using it to protect our oil and gas industry,” said Abang Johari.
He added that whatever laws that have the effect to change Sarawak’s boundary and territory must be passed by DUN and the Rulers’ Conference before they can take effect in Sarawak. — DayakDaily