Petronas advised to give up fight for Sarawak’s oil, gas

Datuk Peter Minos

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KUCHING, June 24: After losing ’round one’ to Sarawak at the Federal Court, it is very likely that Petronas will take its challenge over the state’s oil and gas rights to the High Court.

Political analyst and former Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) publicity committee chairman Datuk Peter Minos said if Petronas should proceed with such a move, it would not only have to face the Sarawak government but also its people.

He told DayakDaily that this would also mean that the national oil giant had totally underestimated the feelings of Sarawakians on the oil and gas issue as the company was only looking for profits.

“But Sarawak is looking after the people who really want and desire for a better life and a better future. Sarawakians also want to catch up with the peninsula in all aspects.

“Without the oil and gas resources found in Sarawak, there is no way that Sarawak will catch up or improve socially and economically in any substantive way,” he opined.

On Friday (June 22), the Federal Court struck out Petronas’ claim to seek a declaration over rights over oil and gas in Sarawak.

The judgment was made by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Datuk Wira Ahmad Maarof.

Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the implications of the case was that Sarawak now could enforce its Oil Mining Ordinance 1958, which would require Petronas to obtain a licence from the Sarawak government to operate in the state beginning July 1.

Peter said the state government and Sarawakians had already made known the fact that Putrajaya and Petronas had gained and benefited by the hundreds and billions of ringgit, since the national oil corporation’s formation in 1974, from the proceeds of oil and gas found in Sarawak.

Therefore, he added, Sarawakians now realised that it was time for the state to enjoy its own oil and gas wealth for socio-economic growth and progress.

“Sarawakians are asking — if not now when? Lose now, lose forever,” he said.

Minos added if Petronas continued to being unyielding and recalcitrant, totally ignoring the feelings and aspirations of Sarawak and its people, Sarawakians might think that both Petronas and Putrajaya do not really care and are unconcerned about Sarawak’s interests and its future.

“That thinking can and will lead to all other thoughts and actions, some of which may not be of interest to anyone.

“The state government had left Barisan Nasional (BN) and the world of (former Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib’s alleged greed and misdeeds, and had agreed to be friends of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government despite everything.

“This is a very positive move on the part of the state government of Sarawak. Therefore we do not want to mar the relationship between Sarawak and the federal government over the oil and gas issue,” said Peter.

He urged Petronas to give a chance and face to Sarawak and its people over the oil and gas issue so that everything would be all right.

“And beautiful Malaysia will be back to normal and surge ahead in all fields under Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the cleaning up of the mess and problems created by the previous BN government,” he added. — DayakDaily