KUCHING, June 20: Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) is supporting the Sarawak government in its fight against Petronas over oil claims as this is the right thing to do, its president Lina Soo said.
“Some have accused me of supporting Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS). This is rubbish. We support the government of the day because this is a constitutional matter.
“Today (the state government) is GPS, tomorrow may be Pakatan Harapan (PH) or even us, Star. But what is important is when we face an outside threat, Sarawakians have to come forward and fight the attempt to undermine Sarawak’s integrity,” she told a press conference here today.
She pointed out that under Sarawak’s laws, Petronas was required to obtain a licence to operate here with effect from July 1.
“So, the state government cannot withdraw this directive, and if Petronas withdraws, they have to recognise our Sarawak directive. This issue is not just (for) today. It’s forever because once the Federal Court declares that Petronas is the owner and regulator, it will be forever.
“There’s no recourse for appeal. It will lock us and our future generations in forever. That’s why this issue is so important. Sarawakians must be aware that we have to protect our boundaries and our oil and gas resources.”
Soo said Sarawak has its own constitution, and no oil company could overwrite it.
She asserted that Sarawak had its laws and constitution since 1941, before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Soo opined that Petronas postponed the hearing from June 12 to June 21 because it wanted the federal government to intervene.
“Actually this case is by Petronas. The federal government has no authority to interfere. It’s between Petronas and the Sarawak government.”
She said she could not anticipate whether the case would be heard by the Federal Court tomorrow.
“We don’t even know if Petronas might withdraw. If they withdraw, it is an admission to comply with the state government requiring Petronas to obey all our state laws and to obtain a licence of operations in Sarawak.
“The fact that Petronas went to the Federal Court over the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) means there is some controversy and ambiguity. They are not sure. So they want the Federal Court to declare once and for all that they own Sarawak’s oil and gas and they have the authority to be the regulator … meaning they don’t have to comply with Sarawak laws.”
Soo urged the state government to get back its oil rights because the PDA was unconstitutional.
“It is constitutional for the states of Malaya formed in 1957, but not for the Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah because we are protected by MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), the Federal Constitution and the Sarawak constitution.” — DayakDaily