by Chris Bishop
KUCHING, Oct 21: GPS must retain its control over the state’s highest law making institution—Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN)—to protect its oil and gas resources.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing expressed belief that to prevent Putrajaya from taking control of Sarawak’s oil and gas, there is no other option but for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to win the upcoming Sarawak election.
Referring to the passing of the Territorial Sea Act 2012, Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister said this was Putrajaya’s attempt to take over the rich oil and gas fields along Sarawak’s coasts.
He believed that if the state DUN were to be controlled by Pakatan Harapan (PH), the Territorial Sea Act 2012 will be endorsed and there will be more mega structures constructed in Peninsular Malaysia using Sarawak’s revenue.
“The possible erosion of Sarawak territory was clearly shown when Putrajaya passed the laws reducing the size of our sea territory under the Territorial Sea Act of 2012.
“The federal government wants these possibly rich oil and gas fields under their control. Fortunately, Sarawak DUN is under our control and we opposed the enactment of the Territorial Sea Act.
“If PH government were to control DUN Sarawak, the Territorial Sea Act of 2012, I am sure, would have been endorsed, and our oil and gas wealth would be taken by Putrajaya, and more Petronas Towers-sized buildings would have been erected, and more infrastructures in Malaya will be constructed using our revenue.
“Therefore, Sarawak assets must be protected by GPS. The protection of our oil and gas assets are not to be carried out by guns nor by brute strength. They are to be protected by the rule of laws of which Sarawakian elected representatives have the authority over.
“Therefore, in this coming PRN12 (12th Sarawak Election), it is more than just an election of individual candidates, but it is about controlling DUN Sarawak.
“Losing is not an option for us. Winning does matter, if we want keep our wealth for the development of this country,” said Masing at the PRS 16th Anniversary dinner held at a hotel here tonight.
Sarawak together with Sabah, are the biggest producers of oil and gas in Malaysia.
Masing noted that a few years ago, Petronas released statistics revealing that oil and gas production from Sarawak was about 800,000 barrel per day. If the price of one barrel is USD60, then Sarawak would earn about USD48 million or RM144 million per day.
“I was also told that Sarawak has the biggest gas reserve in Malaysia. In fact, ladies and gentlemen, we in Sarawak are sitting on the biggest gas field in the region. Any erosion of our territorial sea bed could mean reduction of our potential oil and gas sites,” said Masing. — DayakDaily