OMO amendment “shiok sendiri” only, says Chong

Chong debating on the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018 at the State Legislative Assembly today (July 10, 2018).

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KUCHING, July 10: Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) today describes Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) move to amend the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) as nothing more than to “shiok sendiri” only.

He said even after the amendment, the question of whether the OMO precedes the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) or otherwise would still have to be settled in court.

“This may be a ‘shiok sendiri’ Dewan Undangan. You can play all you want in this august House but at the end of the day, you have to go to court to decide who has precedence over the regulatory power,” said Chong, when debating the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Bill was tabled by Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan earlier today. It was later passed.

Chong made this comment to counter GPS lawmakers’ arguments that once the amendment was passed, the OMO, together with the Gas Distribution Act 2016 (GDA), would give the state full control of its oil and gas resources.

He pointed out that several former state leaders had signed away Sarawak’s rights by supporting the PDA. Chong then asked the 10 Members of Parliaments who consented to the PDA to apologise for moving the Bill on July 24, 1974.

“Only when you acknowledge that you are at fault, that you are wrong, then we can proceed from there,” opined Chong.

On the oil and gas issue, he said the federal government was willing to increase oil royalties from the current five to 20 per cent.

“You may question the quantum of 20 per cent oil royalties, but let me tell you, 20 per cent is almost all that you can earn, the net profit that you can earn from the development of oil industry … 20 per cent of the gross profit,” said Chong.

Meanwhile, Wong King Wei (DAP-Padungan) commented that GPS tabling the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018 only served to create confusion on who had the mining rights for oil and gas in Sarawak.

Wong debating the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018 at the State Legislative Assembly today (July 10, 2018).

“You (GPS) are creating confusion in the industry, but we are making the industry more prosperous so that we can make Sarawakians richer because of the resources that have been gifted by the Almighty God,” said Wong.

He believed the purpose of GPS tabling the amendment bill was to divert attention from the 20 per cent oil royalty, which he claimed the federal government was willing to give.

“It is shameful for the GPS government to mislead the people of Sarawak that you have won the battle in the federal court level (Petronas versus Sarawak government).”

Wong, who is a lawyer, said Sarawak did not win but was only successful in resisting the leave of Petronas in the Federal Court.

Calling GPS a malfunctioning entity that could not provide directions, Wong reminded the august House that the oil royalty of 20 per cent was not only the agenda of Pakatan Harapan (PH) but that of the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem. — DayakDaily