‘Let’s clear the issue once and for all’

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, June 4: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing views Petronas’ latest move to seek the Federal Court’s clarification on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 as the time for Sarawak to clear the issue once and for all.

“The (Petronas court) filing means Malaysia will have to look at the ambiguity in laws regarding O&G (oil and gas) ownership between Malaya and Sarawak. As a result, it is now or never for Sarawak to clear the issue once and for all,” he said in a statement today.

Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said this in response to Petronas filing an application before the Federal Court today seeking a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA), being the law applicable for the petroleum industry in Malaysia.

Petronas is seeking for a declaration that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources as well as the regulator for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.

The national oil company, in a statement issued today, said it believed that the determination by the Federal Court would help provide clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.

Petronas said it would remain committed to support Sarawak’s aspiration to participate in the oil and gas industry, but it had to be within the framework of the PDA.

Masing said the court filing had opened up an avenue for the issue to be settled in court.

“Should it come to that, I believe that it is the hope of all Sarawakian lawmakers and Sarawakians in general to make our stand to fight for Sarawakians’ rights on this issue,” he said. — DayakDaily