KUCHING: Sarawak never gave up her oil and gas (O&G) licensing rights. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made this clarification when met by the media after presenting sponsorships to deserving Sarawakian students at the 2019 Petronas Education Sponsorship and Human Capital Development ceremony at Hilton Hotel here yesterday.
The clarification was in response to a report by The Malaysian Reserve which reported that Petronas will remain as the licensing authority in Sarawak’s O&G industry.
“The report is only a speculation,” Abang Johari insisted. “Sarawak will never give up her rights which are protected under our Constitution. How can we give up our rights?” he said.
On the possible use of the Sedition Act against agitators of secession, the chief minister said: “I agree with Dr Mahathir. You cannot talk about (disturbing) the sovereignty of the country. There is a limit for you (in freedom of speech).
“When you touch the sovereignty of the country, it may trigger a serious situation.”
At the event, Abang Johari also acknowledged Petronas’ professionalism and support for education in the state despite having differences with the state government.
He said with the partnership, he believed that the state will be able to prepare itself and the students for the challenges ahead.
When asked to elaborate on the differences with Petronas, Abang Johari stated that the state government is still negotiating with Petronas on the question of participation in equity of oil and gas.
“It’s a question of quantum … of how we participate in oil and gas. “One is in terms of equity, second is assuming they have new wells so how much percentage will we have. “The progress (on the negotiation with Petronas) is going quite well,” he said.