Lina Soo

KUCHING: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo has called on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to pass a motion in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to reject and repudiate the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 144 and Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 750.

She pointed out that the two federal laws that had violated Sarawak’s territorial integrity were never approved by the state legislature.

“This constitutional safeguard by the state legislature must first be put in place to protect and lock in the state’s inheritance and territorial sovereignty. If Sarawak kept silent beyond 44 years (after the enactment of the PDA and TSA) the state would be deemed to have consented to the matter if the issue were brought to court.

“If Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers declined to do it, Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers should be able to introduce the Bill now. Otherwise, all lawmakers on both sides would be merely politicking and taking Sarawak voters for a ride,” she said in a statement yesterday.

At the same time, Soo also criticised two Democratic Action Party (DAP) members, namely, Chiew Chiu Sing and Irene Mary Chang Oi Ling, and an independent opposition lawmaker See Chee How. These people recently urged DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar to call for a meeting of the Sarawak Consultative Committee on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to deliberate on matters pertaining to the negotiation, dealing and arrangement between the Sarawak government and Petronas.

“When these lawmakers were part of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government, they failed to safeguard Sarawak’s oil and gas interests. They said and did nothing when Petronas refused to pay the state’s five per cent sales tax on petroleum.

“The three lawmakers were in the federal government. Before PH fell, they had 22 months to influence the government to respect Sarawak’s laws.

“The mandate to form the MA63 Consultative Committee was made on Nov 6, 2018. It took them one and a half years to the day they fell from power before they thought to remind the Speaker of the state legislature to activate the committee,” she said.

To the best of her knowledge, Soo has not seen any report, and she wondered why as part of the committee they chose to ‘sleep’ and only awakened upon the change of regime.

“It seems they do a better job of protecting Sarawak’s oil and gas rights when they are in the opposition,” said Soo, hoping that they will do a better job of protecting Sarawak’s interests from now on, as it is better late than never.