Only DUN can change status of Sarawak’s rights to oil and gas: Sim

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING, May 15: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan branch holds the view that no one but the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) has the right to make decisions regarding Sarawak’s oil and gas.

Its branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok concurred with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s statement yesterday that negotiations on Sarawak’s oil and gas will have to go through DUN’s consultative committee comprising people’s representatives from both the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak
(GPS) and opposition coalition.

“We hope other opposition members who sit in the MA63 committee will come forward as did former opposition member YB Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo MP) and put an end to this vicious fear mongering.

“We echo the statement from our DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Awang Asfia that none of our MA63 or OMO rights were eroded and any change to that status must first be proposed by MA63 committee made up of bi-partisan elected members from GPS and opposition YBs before the DUN can even debate any changes to our Sarawak rights and not any individual.

“We note that to date, no debate has taken place in the DUN and no bill has been passed (in the DUN) to give up any of our rights including our oil and gas rights to Petronas.

“So, all Sarawakians can take cognisance in the fact that only the DUN can change our rights regarding oil and gas mining for which the OMO (Oil Mining Ordinance) 1958 preceded the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and will take precedence will prevail as it was reflected in the decisions made in both the federal and high courts,” said Sim in a statement today.

Sim thus invited all Sarawakians to rejoice and celebrate the great victory scored by GPS government against Petronas, the only oil company that disputed Sarawak’s unalienable rights upon the oil and gas in its territory.

“Landmark decisions were made in the Federal Court and most recently in the High court where Petronas was compelled by the courts to pay the 5 per cent State Sales Tax charged because it is within Sarawak’s rights to do so,” said Sim.

Sim said that Sarawakians should thank the chief minister for the latter’s efforts to bring in additional income of more than RM2 billion for Sarawak annually.

“Now with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is timely that the SST collected may be used to assist all Sarawakians in this difficult time for future stimulus package(s) to prevent us from falling into a prolonged major foreseeable economic recession,” said Sim.

On the criticisms from the opposition on RM2 billion SST, Sim said they were cheap publicity stunts meant to distract Sarawakians.

“SUPP Stakan takes offence at all the opposition members who have been active in the media making baseless accusations especially at the expense of Assistant Minister in Chief Minister Office Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

“These cheap shots and creative writings are getting the people riled up for no reason whatsoever and are really an unwelcome distraction to all Sarawakians at this crucial time when Sarawak is beginning its venture to reopen business whilst fending off the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Thus, we call upon all Sarawakians to come forward as one united people and make ‘Sarawak First’ as a slogan in their agenda and to reject baseless gutter politics, which is designed to earn cheap publicity for a basically unknown entity in Sarawak politics,” added Sim.—DayakDaily