By Natasha Jee & Alexandra Lorna
KUCHING: The Sarawak government has reaffirmed that the protection of the state rights within the Continental Shelves under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is non-negotiable, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“Somebody mentioned the onus is for us to challenge (the constitutionality of the Continental Shelf Act (CSA) 1966 in court. Why should we? The onus is for them (the federal government) to disapprove our rights on our boundaries.
“I am not a lawyer. It is our right. If they think that we have no right, they can bring us to court.
“It is for them to dispute what we have claimed based on the 1954 Order in Council on the alteration of boundaries,” he said when officiating at the 25th Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) today.
On another note, he asserted that Sarawak would not go bankrupt as claimed by Democratic Action Party (DAP) national chairman Lim Guan Eng.
“I still remember what Lim said – that (Sarawak will go bankrupt) not because of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. But he said that ‘Abang Jo, GPS, has a budget of RM10 billion a year, meaning in three years’ time we will spend RM30 billion, meaning our reserve will be finished by then’.
“That is what he said, don’t ‘pusing-pusing’ (twist facts), we have the recording. I’m not that stupid.
“Any accountant knows there must be a balance sheet. Any amount out, there must also be an amount in. Not just amount out, which will cause you to go bankrupt.
“Even today, my fifth year as your Premier, Sarawak is not bankrupt, but more coming into the state,” he said.
He stressed that Sarawak wanted to modernise its major township using new technology such as the autonomous rail transit (ART) project.
“But certain people still have old mindset … and someone is also confused about which one is ‘automated’ and ‘autonomous’ in the ART project that the Sarawak government is implementing.
“If China can do (ART), Sarawak also can do it. That is why we must have determination and concrete planning for our state,” said Abang Johari.