KUCHING, June 8: Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR) hopes the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA), Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) and Constitution Amendment A354 Sec 2 would be rejected during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting next month.
Its president, Lina Soo, told a press conference here today that these three Acts were enacted by the federal government to exploit Sarawak’s natural resources and to undermine its status as a territory.
She pointed out that these Acts had never been moved for adoption in the DUN as required under Article 2 (b) of the Federal Constitution.
“We support the Sarawak government to rise to the occasion, to respond valiantly to Petronas’ suit with fervour and determination (in order) to resist their attempt to take over our petroleum resources.
“We hope the state government will engage a British QC who is an expert in constitutional and international law to assist in the event the court case proceeds,” she said.
Soo also appealed to all Sarawakian politicians to stop politicking and instead stand together to help the state in its hour of need.
“The court action by Petronas is the ultimate litmus test for the internal sovereignty of a component state within a federation. Sarawak’s authority and powers within its own territory is severely put to the test.”
She argued that Sarawak had internal sovereignty, namely legal ownership, economic rights and property rights to its oil, gas and minerals in its Continental Shelf, as a coastal state protected under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.
The federal government, on the other hand, had political rights and external sovereignty only in the context of jurisdiction and administrative control in dealing with other nations at international level. This does not give the federal government ownership, economic rights and unfettered control over Sarawak’s sea and natural resources
“It is unconstitutional for the federal government to take over ownership and economic rights of Sarawak’s resources by shifting its boundary and sea in enacting the TSA.”
Soo said it was now a most opportune time to restore Sarawak’s internal sovereignty to put right its political boundary and as exclusive owner with economic and property rights to its petroleum assets, onshore and offshore. — DayakDaily