PDA 1974 not applicable to Sarawak — STAR chief

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Jan 5: State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo holds the view that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) is not applicable to Sarawak as it was never approved by the state legislature.

“PDA is a federal law and is constitutional for the Malayan states of 1957 only. It cannot apply to Sarawak because we have special protections under the law and under both State and Federal Constitutions.

“In addition, the PDA was never approved in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly, so it cannot be enforceable in Sarawak,” she said in a press statement today.

However, she opined that the Sarawak government could not go to court now because doing so would just be recognising and validating an unconstitutional law for Sarawak.

She advised the state government to reject and repudiate all unconstitutional federal laws, including the PDA and Territorial Sea Act.

“This is like locking all your doors and windows before the robbers come to rob your house.

“If not, by a long silence, it can be argued later in court that we had agreed and acquiesced. All other matters can come later. But the law is on our side: state law, federal law, customary international law, constitutional law and international law,”  said Soo, adding that the inalienable right to self-determination had been an established legal doctrine in International law.

Once Petronas applies for permits under the Oil Mining Ordinance 1858, she said it would be an acknowledgement of Sarawak’s rights and sovereignty over its oil and gas.

Soo further pointed out that the Federal Court last year had already ruled that the PDA1974 does not repeal or supersede OMO 1958.

“Otherwise, it would mean an oil company, which is Petronas, is bigger than Negara Sarawak,” said Soo. — DayakDaily