MPs: The oil, gas are Sarawak’s, full stop

E11 Platform Complex, Baronia oilfield in Miri. — file pic

KUCHING, July 25: Two Sarawak lawmakers today insisted that the oil and gas found in Sarawak belong to the state and the matter was non-negotiable.

Serian MP Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem and Santubong MP Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the state’s stance had been very firm and that the Oil and Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958, which was contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA 63), must reign supreme over the Petroleum Development Act, 1974 (PDA 1974).

“Sarawak has just passed the OMO (Amendment) Bill 2018, which means that we own the oil and gas found in Sarawak. Furthermore, PDA 1974 has never been endorsed by the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN),” Riot told DayakDaily today.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali told Parliament today that PDA 1974 must be amended before Putrajaya could increase the oil royalty to oil-producing states.

Azmin had also pleaded for more time to carry out Pakatan Harapan’s election promise, pointing out that the ruling coalition did not give a deadline in its manifesto.

“If we want to implement the 20 per cent oil royalty based on net profit, then we would have to first amend the PDA 1974,” Azmin said during question-and-answer time.

He added that the federal government must abide by the law and that the existing PDA specified that the calculation of oil royalty is based on gross profit, not net profit.

On this, Wan Junaidi said he needed to check the content of the PDA 1974 before he could comment on Azmin’s statement. However, he insisted that Sarawak was not bonded by the PDA 1974 as its OMO, 1958, was never repealed. — DayakDaily