MIRI, June 28: Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) should respect Sarawak’s exclusive rights to resources under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting.
He said in a statement today that under the MA63, Sarawak is an equal partner to its Peninsular counterpart and hence should have exclusive rights to her seas and resources.
“If it is true that the recent resignation of Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Arrifin as chief executive officer of the Malaysian energy giant Petronas this month, was after disagreement with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over giving more oil money to Sarawak, then the ruling party under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has made the right decision in giving its support to Muhyiddin.
“He (Wan Zulkiflee) had said that Sarawak has no legal competence to demand the sales tax and opposed our demand for bigger royalty payments, and if it is this true, well we (Sarawak) have made the right decision in giving our support to Muhyiddin,” he said.
Ting said Sarawakians should be able to make the comparison between the previous Malaysian government (under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) which have held out against demand from Sarawak and Sabah for a bigger share of oil and gas revenues.
“Dr Mahathir had opposed giving more oil money to these two states (Sarawak and Sabah) unlike Muhyiddin,” he pointed out.
Muhyiddin took office after the resignation of the 94-year-old Dr Mahathir who had opposed Sarawak and Sabah’s demand for more royalties from Petronas,
According to Ting, Petronas’s legal action seeking the Federal Court’s declaration on the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 had shown “how desperate they are to hang on to Sarawak’s oil and gas resources”.
He said SUPP reaffirmed that the PDA 1974 and the Territorial Sea Act 2012 or TSA are not relevant in Sarawak.
“Therefore, Petronas should respect Sarawak’s sovereignty and it shall comply with the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 for all its oil mining activities in Sarawak,” he added. -DayakDaily