By Karen Bong
SIBU, Oct 20: Don’t get stuck dwelling on past mistakes but instead forge a better future for Sarawak by learning from them and protecting the state’s wealth, including getting back the oil and gas resources.
This advice came from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, when addressing the PRS’ Extraordinary Delegates Conference (EDC) held in conjunction with the party’s 14th anniversary at a leading hotel here today.
“Stop crying over spilt milk, because it wouldn’t help to make us better or richer.
“If we continue to blame our forefathers and past leaders, keep on quarrelling and play the blame game again and again, and never get together to protect our million dollars assets, Sarawak will be at the losing end.”
Masing, who is also a deputy chief minister, thus called on Sarawakians to put the past behind and forge ahead as one Sarawak.
“Our forefathers and us (present leaders) had made mistakes in the past. But let us together make amends for our past mistakes and move forward while our oil and gas assets are still plenty.”
Stressing on the oil and gas issue, he sternly warned that “enough is enough”, for Petronas and Malaya had in the last 40 odd years extracted Sarawak’s assets and left little for the state to develop.
“Stop extracting oil and gas from our territories. Let all Sarawakians stand together and claim our wealth back before it is too late.”
Masing pointed out that the Sarawak Constitution clearly stipulated that all oil and gas within Sarawak territories belonged to Sarawak, and the rights to issue licence lie with the Sarawak government.
All oil companies, including Petronas, that wanted and intended to explore or extract oil and gas in Sarawak territories, he reiterated, must get exploring licences from the state government.
“It is not the other way round. Petronas must get our permission if it wants to extract our oil and gas.”
Referring to a Bernama report published in the New Straits Times on Aug 18, 2017, Masing shared that Petronas was extracting on average 850,000 barrels of oil per day from Sarawak.
At the current price of US$70 per barrel, he said this meant that US$56 million per day or RM224 million was generated per day from Sarawak.
“Note that this excludes the revenue earned from our gas from Bintulu.
“Sarawak is not greedy. Let Petros and Petronas or other oil companies share the exploration of our oil and gas on a Power Sharing Contract (PSC) basis, where Sarawak decides on the size of its equity, not Petronas!” — DayakDaily