“Convene special DUN sitting to halt Pakatan’s oil royalty U-turn”

Soo speaking to reporters as STAR chairman Buln Ribos looks on.

KUCHING, July 26: Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo today suggested the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) call for a special sitting to reject the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012.

She said this was necessary as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government had failed to honour its election promise with regards to Sarawak’s oil and gas rights.

“I call upon the Sarawak government to call for a special DUN sitting to reject the PDA 1974 and the TSA 2012 as these are federal laws that are non-applicable to Sarawak. They have never been approved in DUN as required under our Sarawak Constitution.

“By doing so, this constitutionalises and locks in Sarawak’s oil and gas rights,” she opined.

Soo claimed she was shocked and outraged with the latest statement on oil royalty by the PH government as announced in Parliament by Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. Azmin said the 20 per cent oil royalty as promised in their manifesto would be calculated based on profit after tax, not on gross sales revenue.

“Twenty per cent of nothing is also nothing. This is ‘tipu’ (lying),” she told a press conference here this morning.

Soo said this was an overt departure from the agreed royalty formula as prescribed in the PDA.

She alleged this was a blatant attempt by the federal government to drag the issue and divert Sarawak further from resolving the real issue, which was restoring the ownership rights and equity of petroleum resources back to the rightful owner — Sarawak.

“Barely 80 days in government, the federal government is already backpedalling and singing a different song when it comes to Sarawak oil.

“The federal government has reneged on its election promise regarding the 20 per cent oil royalty. With the latest development, I wonder if there is a hidden provocative agenda behind the announcement,” said Soo.

She advised the Sarawak government not to fall into the trap of negotiating on the 20 per cent royalty.

“The issue of royalty as to whether it is a percentage of gross sales revenue or of profit after tax is non-negotiable,” said Soo.

She opined that Petronas’ role in the state’s oil and gas industry was no longer ‘business as usual’ as under the Ninth Schedule Legislative List II – State List 2(c) it is the exclusive right of Sarawak to issue oil and gas prospecting licences and leases which encompasses Profit Sharing Contract (PSC), Risk Sharing Contract (RSC) and Enhancement Oil Recovery (EOR). Aligned to the state’s municipal laws are Order in Council 1954, Land Code 1958, Supplementary Deed 1965 and Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016, and the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO), which was just amended and passed during the July 2018 DUN sitting.

“I urge Sarawakians to be united in supporting and sharing a common aspiration for the cognisance of 100 per cent ownership of Sarawak oil and gas to uplift Sarawak’s economy with meaningful participation for all Sarawakians.

“I also call upon Sarawakians to go public to denounce Azmin on his admission that Sarawak’s oil (royalty) needs to be based on profit rather than production to avert an adverse financial impact on both Petronas and the federal government,” said Soo. — DayakDaily