Oil rights: SUPP ignorant of Malaysian legal system, says Yii

Dr Kelvin Yii speaking at a 'ceramah'. — DayakDaily.com file pic

KUCHING, March 13: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) objection toward Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen’s intention to table a motion in Parliament to amend the Petroleum Development Act 1974 shows their ignorance of the legal system in Malaysia, says Chong’s special assistant Dr Kelvin Yii.

In a press statement today, Yii said that Pakatan Harapan is not disputing that fact that based on Sarawak (Alteration of Boundaries) Order by the Queen in Council in 1954 and the lifting of the Proclamation of Emergency 1969, that the Sarawak government is constitutionally entitled to exercise its original rights over the onshore and offshore mining of oil and gas according to the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance 1958.

However, Dr Yii highlighted the legal issue behind it as any law passed in Malaysia and duly gazetted to come into force is deemed to be good law until it is repealed, or the Federal Court declares it to be unconstitutional and null and void.

“Thus the TSA 2012 (Territorial Sea Act 2012) and PDA 1974 (Petroleum Development Act 1974) currently are still valid laws and as affirmed by our Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg), all we have is full regulatory power, not full ownership. If based on their logic that we already have full ownership since the lifting of the Emergency in 2011, why are we still given a mere 5 per cent oil royalty?

“It is a simple question, with a simple answer,” he stressed.

Hence, Yii said that it is important to take proactive steps to challenge in a court of law or table a motion to amend the said laws in Parliament.

The proposed amendments that will be tabled will exclude Sarawak from the PDA 1974 and TSA 2012 and reaffirm Sarawak’s ownership of its resources, rather than just basing it on ‘ambiguous public statements with little accountability’.

Thus, an objection to this motion, is an objection to the returning of our rights to Sarawak, Yii said.

“The bandwagon BN (Barisan Nasional) Sarawak leaders are jumping on to praise this statement shows they are either ignorant of our laws or making a deliberate choice to mislead the people.

“The ultimate act of betrayal to the interest of the people, was BN Sarawak’s act of giving away our rights in the first place, and now they still continue to deliberately deceive the people of Sarawak even after 55 years of mismanagement, bad governance and blatant corruption,” he said.

Yii was responding to a statement by SUPP Youth Central chairman Michael Tiang, who had said that Chong’s intention to table a motion in Parliament to amend the PDA 1974 may turn out to be a paradox and tantamount to recognising the PDA 1974 and its legal standing in Sarawak.

Tiang said Sarawak owned all the petroleum resources, both onshore and offshore as stipulated under Sarawak (Alteration of Boundaries) Order 1954 by the Queen in Council. — DayakDaily