KUCHING, June 4: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) today declared its support for the Sarawak government to fight for the state’s rights over its oil and gas resources.
Its president, Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, said this in response to national oil company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) filing an application before the Federal Court today seeking for a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA), claiming that the company has exclusive rights over all oil resources in the country, including in Sarawak.
Dr Sim said SUPP would stick to its firm stand that all land, including natural resources such as oil and gas found in the seabed and subsoil in Sarawak’s Continental Shelf, belonged to Sarawak, not Petronas.
“This right was established in the Sarawak (Alteration of Boundaries) Order in Council 1954 made on June 24, 1954, and the same right is preserved in the Federal Constitution,” he said in a press statement.
“Nevertheless, since the Proclamation of Emergency in 1969, our oil rights were forcibly taken away by the federal government through the Petroleum Mining Act 1966, the Continental Shelf Act 1966, and the Petroleum Development Act 1974.
“But with the lifting of the emergency laws in 2012 and the PDA 1974 being passed without the consent of the Sarawak State Assembly, the ownership of the oil and gas shall fall back to Sarawak.”
Dr Sim said his party had anticipated this move by the then opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the event they came into power in the recent 14th general election (GE14).
“That was why SUPP promoted the awareness during our GE14 campaign among fellow Sarawakians on the urgency to build a stronger Sarawak against such a scenario.”
Dr Sim gave assurance that SUPP would fight til the end for the return of the state’s rights over ownership of its oil and gas resources.
“As we were given the mandate to be part of the Sarawak government in the last Sarawak election in 2016, we will not back down from our promises.
“We cannot allow a government-linked corporation to claim its rights over our sovereignty in oil and gas resources in order to siphon our wealth out to the peninsula again,” he said.
Dr Sim hoped all Sarawakians would come together to state their objection against such claims by Petronas.
Earlier today, Petronas, in a press statement, said it had filed an application before the Federal Court seeking for a declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA), being the law applicable for the petroleum industry in Malaysia.
The application was also to state that Petronas is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources as well as the regulator for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak.
“Petronas believes that the determination by the Federal Court would help provide clarity on its rights and position under the PDA.
“Petronas remains committed to support Sarawak’s aspiration to participate in the oil and gas industry in the state for as long as it is within the framework of the PDA,” it said. — DayakDaily