KUCHING: Sarawak’s rights to its petroleum resources is undeniable and sooner or later the state will set up its own oil and gas vehicle to manage its petroleum resources to benefit the state and its people.
According to Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) president Hamim Yusuf, petroleum, like any other natural resources, would deplete one day, and as such, needed urgent attention from all stakeholders to manage it properly for the benefit of all Sarawakians.
“After 42 years this is only fair. We believe the state government will pursue this to its logical conclusion,” Hamim said when contacted yesterday.
When asked for his comment on the latest twist of event now that the state government has decided to have a closed-door negotiation with Putrajaya instead of tabling a motion at the upcoming State Legislative Assembly sitting, Hamim said, “We believe the state government will act in the best interests of all Sarawakians in this matter.
“We also believe that all Sarawakians, especially our future generations will have a stake in the outcome of discussions with the federal government and deserve the right to know what is going on before any conclusions or decisions are made or agreements drawn up.
“Consensus of all Sarawakians is vital and the views of all must be taken into account. The state government will do what is right for Sarawakians,” he said.
When asked if SPG should be invited to participate in the negotiation with the federal leaders, Hamim said as an independent group of oil and gas professionals from Sarawak, they would leave it to the state government to carry out its responsibility for the best interests of the people.
“We are not a government body but we will support all efforts of the state government and continue to render all assistance as and when needed,” he added.
SPG has been very vocal on the rights of the state regarding its petroleum resources by reminding the federal government that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 is a breach of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution and as such as considered null and void.
In a one-page advertorial published in The Borneo Post yesterday entitled, ‘Why The Petroleum Development Act 1974 is in Breach of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution and is Null and Void’, SPG cited various important documents to back its claims.
Among others, it cited the MA63 which clearly indicated that Sarawak is a partner in the Federation of Malaysia, and has rights over petroleum found within its territories, including those found offshore.
“Those rights are taken away via the device of the Petroleum Development Act 1974, a device that although passed in parliament, however did not follow a substantive provision of the Federal Constitution, and is therefore, null and void and of no legal effect,” it said.