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By Lian Cheng
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20: Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri holds the view that Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) is not enforceable in Sarawak.
She said a provision in the Federal Constitution stipulates that matters involving Sarawak must be brought back to the state for endorsement.
“After the Parliament approved (PDA), they were (supposed) to bring it to Sarawak for Sarawak to approve it in DUN (Sarawak Legislative Assembly). It can’t be imposed on Sarawak without consulting Sarawak.
“So I am of the view that PDA is still not enforceable in Sarawak,” Nancy told DayakDaily on the sidelines of the Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2019 event which was held at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre here yesterday.
She believed that the law is on Sarawak’s side with regards to Sarawak’s claim on its oil and gas.
“I feel that the federal government should respect our claim and should not come out with the argument saying ‘what else is Sarawak wanting?’ — as if Sarawak is begging. That is why I am very emotional about it.
“Who are you to question us? We are not asking for something that is yours. We are asking for something that we have the rights to claim under the Federal Constitution,” said Nancy.
On the question Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been raising of why Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is only fighting for Sarawak’s rights now, Nancy replied with another question: “How do you know that we did not (fight for Sarawak’s rights)?”
“If we did not speak out for Sarawak, you think we can get all the development for Sarawak? When we were under the same roof, the same house, we didn’t have to shout. We worked it out amicably.”
She also pointed out that the present documents that are being used in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) negotiations between the Sarawak government and federal government are the same documents used by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government with the Sarawak government for MA63 negotiations.
“The documents you (PH) are using now are our documents. That is why it (the ongoing negotiation between the PH-led federal government and Sarawak government led by GPS) has been done faster than (the previous negotiation on MA63) before.
“When we started it (the earlier negotiations on MA63), we had to look for information and details. Now it is all there for you to refer to. So don’t say that we didn’t fight for Sarawak’s rights under BN. We did.
“That fact is, we had worked on it. No doubt, we did not complete it but what you are using to negotiate now is based on what was used to negotiate before,” Nancy said.
She also emphasised that PDA should not restrict Sarawak’s claim on its oil and gas.
“We have not tested ourselves in court yet because the negotiation between federal and Sarawak governments is still ongoing.
“To me, PDA is not enforceable in Sarawak because it should be agreed to by the Sarawak government first before they can enforce it,” said Nancy, who added that this is a right enshrined under the Federal Constitution.
Citing the case of the attempted transfer of the High Court Registry from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, she said that was one of the examples of the federal government trying to bulldoze its way but failing as it is stated clearly in the constitution that the Chief Minister of Sarawak must be consulted first before any decision can be made. — DayakDaily