By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Dec 10: About 93 billion barrels worth of natural resources are potentially embedded under the sea in the 80km-long James Shoal, 45 nautical miles northwest to Bintulu.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed he came to know of this when he read a book that detailed the study results of scientists on natural resources.
“I read a book in which scientists talked about this area named James Shoal that has natural resources, which according to their calculations has approximately 93 billion barrels.
“Then, I opened Google Maps and searched for this place. I discovered that it is actually near Bintulu. It is not only in Bintulu, but it went as far down to Balingian, from up north down to Natuna (Islands), not far from Lundu,” he said, stressing on the large size of the area.
With potential like this, he noted, it is important to be smart when managing and administering the resources available in the state.
Though there has yet to be any decision to exploit James Shoal yet, Abang Johari did not deny the possibility for Sarawak to do so, depending on the situation in the future.
“If this is the right place, we will have the opportunity to engage Malay scientists, archeologists and other professionals in related fields.
“This is the struggles that we need to face together,” he said, emphasising on the legacy of local Malays whose ancestors were great sailors and traders, which ensured good relationships between Sarawak community and other countries such as China, the Philippines and Spain in the olden days.
People might have forgotten about this part of history over time, but Abang Johari urged those present to revive this spirit of yore.
Abang Johari said this while speaking at the earth-breaking ceremony for Wisma Melayu Sarawak along Jalan Diplomatik, Petra Jaya this morning.
Also present at the event were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur, SME Development and E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais. — DayakDaily