Sarawak oil and gas matters should not be discussed behind closed doors

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan.

KUCHING, Aug 23: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) is urging Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to not agree with Putrajaya to discuss Sarawak’s oil and gas matters behind closed doors.

PBK president Voon Lee Shan reminded that as chief executive of the state, Abang Johari is bound by the law and could be liable for political negligence if he negligently causes loss to Sarawak in his negotiations over the state’s oil and gas resources with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

“He should not agree to sit, discuss and negotiate all matters concerning our oil and gas behind closed doors, yet alone. Democracy demands transparency and all things done must be done in utmost good faith,” he said in a media release today.

“The people of Sarawak are not happy for the huge loss of revenue of Sarawak’s oil and gas after the then Chief Minister Abdul Rahman Ya’kub signed away this right in perpetuity to the Federation of Malaya by retaining a meager five per cent only,” he reminded.m

The loss of state revenue has been in hundreds of millions of Ringgit each day to Putrajaya, Voon said while pointing out that the chief minister was under a duty to get them back for Sarawak.

He noted the public’s concerns about the negotiations exclusively between Abang Johari himself, Prime Minister and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

“There is nothing to negotiate when these oil and gas belong to Sarawak and its people. Malaya has no right at all to these resources. To agree to negotiate shows that Sarawak is a colony to Malaya, not an equal partner with equal status at all,” he stressed.

“His (Abang Johari’s) action could cause a foreseeable damage or harm to the state’s economy, if his negotiations fail to get back the resources Sarawak had lost,” he added.

Reiterating that Sarawakians want nothing less than 100 per cent of the oil and gas resources back, Voon however suggested that Abang Johari take a step further in demanding the revenue lost since the passing of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA).

“It would be fair, just and equitable to impose such liability on him (Abang Johari) if the loss of this revenue to Putrajaya is caused by his negligence to give away to the demands of the Prime Minister,” he alleged.

Citing the case of Caparo v Dickman, in the United Kingdom (UK), he said it can be a guide to allow aggrieved voters to sue politicians on grounds of political negligence or for falsely misleading the voters to believe in them leading to cast voters in the politicians’ favour.— DayakDaily