KUCHING: The opposition is out to confuse and mislead Sarawakians on the issue pertaining to oil and gas rights, said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He said, although clarity is welcomed in the case of Sarawak and Petroliam Nasional Berhad’s (Petronas) agreement, it was not what the opposition is interested in.
“Confusion is more common than clarity in our daily life — Petronas for the first time ever recognises and will abide by Sarawak laws — both the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) and the State Sales Tax (SST).
“The five percent SST is a law and as such, it can only be changed by amending it in the Sarawak state legislature,” he wrote in a Facebook posting on Thursday.
He was responding to allegations by opposition parties and some non-governmenal organisations pertaining to the matter, which compared the Sarawak-Petronas agreement to surrendering the state’s rights.
The point of contention stemmed from a paragraph of press statement — announcing the commercial solution by both parties last week, which has been misinterpreted by some as Sarawak recognising the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974.
On this, Dr Sim said such was far from the case as PDA74 was a federal law which infringed on Sarawak’s rights and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“PDA74 can only be recognised if the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) resolves the infringement issue. Otherwise PDA74 is not recognised in Sarawak.
“GPS being the Sarawak government, its one and foremost objective is to defend Sarawak’s rights,” he said.
The SUPP president said such intricate situation required a great deal of understanding and clarity, which those who jumped onto the bandwagon might struggle to understand.
“To make matters worse, when the subject is complex and complicated, there are some so called expert politicians who intentionally or habitually mislead others whenever there is an opportunity to confuse,” he said.