KUCHING, June 21: As a team of Sarawak government lawyers was busy defending the state’s rights against Petronas at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, about 50 people gave their moral support by holding a peaceful demonstration at the Kuching Waterfront this morning.
The flash mob was organised by the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) movement to uphold Sarawak’s rightful ownership of its oil and gas resources.
The 30-minute ‘Get Petronas out of Sarawak’ gathering started at about 9am, with the participants — holding banners and waving the old Sarawak flags — demanding that the oil and gas rights be returned to Sarawak.
Among those present were Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) leader Tan Kai, State Reform Party president Lina Soo and former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng.
S4S Kuching spokesperson Tan Kok Chiang told DayakDaily that though the number of participants was small, he was not disappointed.
“The main thing is to put across the message to as many people as possible. Even if there are a lot of people participating, if we fail to get the message across, then our effort is still in vain,” he opined.
He said the flash mob was held today because of the Petronas vs Sarawak government lawsuit, where the national oil giant filed a motion for leave to sue Sarawak based on the Petroleum Development Act 1974.
Tan said it was time for the federal government to return to Sarawak its oil and gas rights as well as other rights enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“We also gathered here to show our support to the Sarawak government in its efforts to regain Sarawak’s long lost rights,” said Tan.
The Petronas suit was supposed to be heard on June 12 but it was postponed to today after the Federal Attorney-General requested the Federal Court for a postponement as the federal government mulled whether to intervene.
On the reasons for flying the old Sarawak flags at the brief protest, Tan explained they used it to remind all Sarawakians that their home state was once a sovereign independent country.
“Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, but even after that, the Sarawak flag was still in use until 1973,” he reasoned. — DayakDaily