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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Sept 9: The federal government’s continuing agreement to exempt the use of Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Control of Supplies Act (CSA) 1961 to regulate liquified petroleum gas (LPG) in Sarawak is a recognition of the State government’s capacity as well as of the ability of corporate organisations and people of Sarawak.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that the exemptions allowed Sarawak to have a more meaningful involvement in the oil and gas (O&G) industry in the country.
“It also allows Sarawak to take on a more active role in the O&G industry as aspired by the State government all the while for the development of the State and well-being of people.
“Once again, I thank the Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for continuing the exemptions as well as former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for agreeing and deciding to exempt PDA and CSA to regulate LPG in Sarawak (and leaving it to) to SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd.
“We can now supply gas to other parts of Sarawak with the authority that we have as a result of the exemption,” he said before witnessing the handing over of a letter for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Regulatory Exemption for Sarawak held at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
On April 13, the federal government decided and agreed that exemption be given to Distribution of Gas Ordinance (DGO) license holders issued by the State government from the need to obtain permission under PDA 1974 and licences under CSA 1961.
As of June 1 onwards, Sarawak LPG wholesalers and retailers no longer need to apply for a permit and licence from the federal government through the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) to distribute LPG in Sarawak.
Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Energy Sdn Bhd handle the supply, sale and distribution of domestic gas to industrial and residential premises in Sarawak.
Abang Johari pointed out that for the downstream O&G sector, the Petros LPG red tanks have started to be marketed in the local market.
“This is within the framework of the Sarawak Gas Utilisation Roadmap to increase the value of the State’s resources at the local level in order to provide more socio-economic value by providing employment opportunities to the people of Sarawak,” he added.
The DGO 2016, he elaborated, was passed by the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) on Nov 21, 2016 to create a comprehensive regulatory framework that covered the entire supply chain from upstream to downstream so that the energy supply in Sarawak can be managed effectively, safely and securely to benefit the industry and the people.
“With the DGO enforced on July 1, 2018, it created the need to get exemptions from PDA 1974 and CSA 1961 from the federal government.
“With the exemption granted, distribution activities and regulation of gas in Sarawak can be carried out in a more effective manner while reducing bureaucratic red tape.
“With the adoption of DGO as the only legislative or source of authority for the regulation of LPG in Sarawak, the Ministry of Utilities has a role to ensure the supply of LPG in the State runs smoothly,” he said.
SEDC Energy, he added, is another entity which will play an important role in enhancing the gas and petrochemical industry in Sarawak that reflects the increase in the ease of doing business.
“I hope that the Ministry of Utilities under the leadership of Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom will continue to chart the way forward in creating a competitive and investment-friendly industry ecosystem, while protecting the rights of consumers by ensuring the security of supply and the quality of gas and services,” he added.
Abang Johari also expressed appreciation to KPDNHEP Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi who helped Sarawak realise its aspiration as this achievement reflected the ‘go-getter attitude’ of Nanta who is a Sarawakian himself.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Federal Secretary Sarawak Dato Amir Omar, Petros chairman Tan Sri Dr Hamid Bugo, and SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd general manager Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir were among those present. — DayakDaily