NGO reminds S’wak govt to be very careful with its decisions

Peter John Jaban

KUCHING, June 12: The Petronas vs Sarawak government matter has gone beyond political positioning and will decide the future of both Sarawak and Sabah in the Federation of Malaysia for years to come.

Solidarity Anak Sarawak (SAS) founder Peter John Jaban argued that there was actually no need to go to the court because the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) was not applicable to Sarawak and Sabah.

“In addition, the PDA is also not valid because it was never passed in the State Legislative Assembly,” he said in a statement today.

“The Sarawak government’s responsibility is to protect her people, so the state government must be very careful with any decision it makes. Otherwise, we, the rakyat, will sue the state government for negligence.”

The Borneon states, he observed, had been quiet for many years and even allowed their revenues to be drained and appropriated for the benefit of others.

“But Sarawak and Sabah are awake now and cannot, and will not, go back to sleep. I am also very happy to see that more and more younger generations, especially the Bumiputra, are now interested to know more about the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963).”

He pointed out that the MA63 is the founding document of the nation, and it formed the basis of the Federal Constitution.

“Therefore, any legislation that goes against it is unconstitutional. This includes the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and the PDA. MA63 puts 100 per cent of natural resources under the purview of the state.”

Up until now, Sarawakians would most likely have settled for a 20 per cent royalty for its oil resources in recognition of their part in a larger political whole.

“However, if Petronas wished to go for all of it, then Sarawak must do the same. Sarawak and Sabah must defend their rights or risk losing them entirely. This (Petronas) suit shows that the time for accepting half measures and compromises is over.

“Sarawak’s opponent in this case intends to settle for nothing less than the outright ownership of the state’s resources. This cannot be allowed or Sarawak will be the beggar for future generations to come.”

Peter John stressed that this was not about corruption or about which party or coalition got to control the revenues and the next state government.

“Let the newly empowered MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) do their job. Instead, this is about the long-term future of the people of the Borneon states. These revenues are not needed to make a rich state richer. These revenues are needed to elevate the people of the Borneon states from poverty and to be on par with those in the peninsula, allowing them to see the same benefits from nationhood that people in the peninsula have enjoyed for many decades, namely roads, treated water, electricity and education.”

Peter John urged all Sarawak lawmakers to always keep the future of their home state in mind.

“(I am sure) they do not want to be in the position where future generations curse them for allowing Sarawak to lose its rights for the sake of securing themselves short-term positions within the Malaysian government.

“As Malaysians have finally witnessed, governments come and go, but the rights of the people must remain protected.” — DayakDaily