State government holds authority over its oil and gas participation — Soo

Lina Soo

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Kuching, July 5: Any decision with regards to licensing authority over Sarawak’s oil and gas can only be decided by the state government through its Legislative Assembly.

In saying this, State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo believed that Petronas or the Malaysian Oil and Gas Services Council (MOGSC) has no authority over the matter.

“Sarawakians are legitimate stakeholders and landowners of all natural resources including oil and gas within the boundaries of its territory which predates ‘Malaysia’ and upheld by the Sarawak Constitution itself.

“Petronas’ involvement in oil and gas was only in 1974 by temporary legislature, when Petroleum Development Act were enforced upon Sarawak and Sabah during emergency rule,” she said in a statement.

In this regards, Soo expressed relief that MOGSC has come out with a rebuttal to an article published by the Malaysian Reserve on July 3, which purportedly said that Petronas would remain as the licensing authority over Sarawak’s oil and gas.

The report mentioned ‘the new arrangement is set to be effective on Jan 1, 2020, and will extend to production sharing contractors operating in Sarawak as well’.

Soo said MOGSC would do well to refrain from infringing upon the legitimacy and sovereignty of Sarawak with assumptions upon its oil and gas industry but to study the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO), both Sarawak and Federal Constitutions, as well as the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) thoroughly.

She believed MOGSC will do a better performance if it refers to the Sarawak Legislature through the state government, in respect of Article 76(3) of the Federal Constitution, which stipulates that no federal law shall come into operation in any state until it has been adopted by the State Legislature and which shall be deemed to be State law and not Federal law.

PDA comes within this definition, added Soo.

She also asked the Pakatan Harapan federal government when it would deliver on its election promise of 20 per cent royalty on oil and gas to Sarawak. — DayakDaily