Share oil, gas with all Sarawakians once ownership is reclaimed — Linggi

By Lian Cheng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19: Tan Sri Leonard Linggi Jugah opined that once Sarawak reclaimed ownership of its oil and gas, the profit should be shared by all Sarawakians.

“Make sure the assets are shared and distributed to all Sarawakians. Don’t give it to only a few, which happened before. If we don’t distribute it, people in Kuala Lumpur will laugh at us.

“That is probably the most important lesson that we should think about today. We share whatever resources we have. Negotiate, don’t fight, but once you get it, share it among all Sarawakians,” he emphasized.

Leonard Linggi is the son of the late Tun Jugah Barieng, a prominent Dayak leader instrumental in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

Linggi spoke his mind at “Forum: Federalism, Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963” here today. The forum formed part of the annual `Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2018’ held at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, where more than 7,000 Sarawakians attended.

He said he had checked with his lawyers, and they held the view that Sarawak had sound legal principles to claim back its oil and gas through the Oil Mining Ordinance, 1958.

“Once you own it, there is nothing to prevent us from engaging with institutions like Petronas, which we work together or on our behalf, and share the profit, accordingly.”

Linggi also asserted that the process of reclaiming Sarawak’s rights should be done peacefully through negotiation.

“As a Malaysian, the word ‘fight’ is wrong. I think you should use ‘negotiation’. In politics, especially within one Malaysian family, the zero-sum game was never being in play.

“I win, you lose. That is a disaster. We must share. That is the Malaysian culture. That should be our stance,” said Linggi, who further explained that the word culture comes from the Greek word “kaitus”, which means share.

He said if Sarawak were to take that stance, Putrajaya would not have problem in returning Sarawak’s oil and gas rights.

Quoting the Bible, which states that “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give to God what belongs to God”, he said what belonged to Sarawak should be returned to Sarawak.

He cautioned that quarrelling was an extremely dangerous move, citing the examples of Rome, Spain, Italy and Brexit, and Trumpology in the United States, which exclusivity destroyed the nations instead of building them up.

“They want to keep everything for themselves and forget about the world. Even people in Sarawak, `Sarawak for Sarawakians’ sounds nice, true. I also like to have Sarawak for Sarawakians.

“But as a Malaysian, you cannot really say that because that in itself is a splitting force. It splits us.”

Linggi held the view that Sarawak’s guiding point should be that Putrajaya returned Sarawak’s rights while Sarawak shared her oil and gas with Putrajaya.

He pointed out that the same year the Federation of Malaysia was formed, South African Federation and Carribean Federation were also formed. However, these federations have since collapsed.

“We last for 55 years. There must be something in it. We should nurture it. Sarawakians should nurture it. Kuala Lumpurians should also value it. Let us grow together.” — DayakDaily