State’s O&G rights cannot be changed unilaterally

KUCHING: The state’s rights to oil and gas mining cannot be changed or given ‘willy-nilly’ without the nod from the state Legislative Assembly, asserted Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Stakan branch.

It noted that, to date, there has been no debate in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and no Bill has been passed to give up any of Sarawak’s rights including its rights to oil and gas to Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).

“We echo the statement by DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar that none of our Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) or Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 rights were eroded.

“Any change to that status must first be proposed by MA63 committee made up of bipartisan elected members from GPS, PKR, DAP, and PSB before the DUN can even debate any changes to our state rights and not any one individual,” it said in a statement yesterday.

This was in response to accusations by opposition parties and non-governmental organisations (NGO) that the rights of Sarawak have been surrendered by the state government in its agreement with Petronas.

SUPP Stakan said, all Sarawakians can take cognizance of the fact that only the DUN can change our rights regarding oil and gas mining for which OMO precedes the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974.

“OMO will take precedence and prevail as it was reflected in the decisions made in both the federal and high courts,” it said.

It described as cheap shots and creative writings by the irresponsible parties that only served to get the people riled up for no reason whatsoever.

“We call upon all Sarawakians to come forward and make Sarawak first in their agenda and reject this baseless gutter politics, which is designed to earn cheap publicity for a basically unknown entity in Sarawak politics,” SUPP Stakan said.