KUCHING: Pro-rights group leader, Peter John Jaban suggests Sarawak to use the documents found in the London Mission to engineer a “reverse” of the oil and gas royalty share arrangement.
The Sarawak for Sarawakians leader also said the state should work to get the bulk of the revenue while the federal government get 5%.
Jaban said the team’s search for documents related to the state’s quest on its legal rights, including its right to a bigger share of the revenues of oil and gas extracted from within its boundaries and on the disputed continental shelf, showed Sarawak was resolute in its fight for its rights.
“The mission and the documents found should put Putrajaya on notice that all options are being investigated, legal and as well as political, by the state. The federal government should take this seriously and the state government must now go beyond the political sphere and seriously consider legal redress as an option,” said Jaban in a statement.
The team of legal experts Sarawak recently sent to London to search for and study any references related to the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, found documents that “confirmed the ownership rights of the states to the natural resources in the seabeds and subsoils in the continental shelf within the boundaries of the state”.
Those documents would effectively make the controversial Continental Shelf Act 1966 passed by parliament illegal, null and void.
Jaban also suggests that the state should look into the arrangement in neighbouring Indonesia where the province of Acheh in Sumatra received 70% of the oil revenues from within its own boundaries.
Sarawak has long disputed the Act as it altered the state’s sea boundary in violation of agreements contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Under the Act, Sarawak’s coastal boundary was reduced from 12 miles from the coastline to a mere three miles.
The Act also deprived Sarawak of the 200-mile economic exclusive zone (EEZ) and this had led to accusation that the federal government passed the law in order to plunder the state’s oil and gas resources that are mostly found in deep waters beyond the 3-mile limit.
Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Hajah Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, who headed the research mission, said on Wednesday that the documents they found confirmed the ownership rights of the states to the natural resources in the continental shelf. – dayakdaily.com