Opposition slammed for ‘pouring cold water’ on efforts to claim MA63 rights

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

SIBU: State DAP and PKR are slammed for ‘pouring cold water’ on whatever efforts are put forth by the chief minister and state BN to claim the state’s rights which have been eroded over the years.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president, said it was sad to see these opposition leaders taking such a stand.

He was reacting to the press statements from state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state PKR vice chairman See Chee How.

Chong has said that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s announcement on Sarawak’s regulatory power over the oil and gas was ‘much ado about nothing’ and a big disappointment.

Chong said that despite the announcement and the so-called devolution of power, Sarawak’s entitlement to the oil and gas royalties remained a meagre five per cent and the remaining revenues generated from the exploration of oil and gas remained with the federal government and Petronas.

He said with the existence of another law, the Territorial Sea Act, 2012, Sarawak only has rights covering areas within three nautical miles as anything beyond that belongs to the federal government.

See on the other hand, remarked that Abang Johari should first obtain the assurance and undertaking of the Prime Minister to repeal the TSA 2012 and the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and to rescind the Tripartite Agreement before he could make the announcement.

“Unless all these laws and legal provisions are repealed or amended to devolve or vest the power back to Sarawak, we are in effect powerless,” said See in a statement.

Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman, said: “It is sad to see DAP and PKR Sarawak ‘pouring cold water’ on whatever efforts our chief minister and state BN are trying to do to claim the state’s rights that have been eroded through the years.

“I can understand if Peninsular Malaysian opposition or BN leaders were to comment the way Chong and See were commenting…but being Sarawakians, the least they could have done is to support every effort that our CM is doing. Petronas, Shell and other oil and gas players and even our PM have shown positive response to our CM’s effort in getting back the state’s rights that have been eroded.

“I hope these two opposition leaders understand the intrigue and mechanics of how policies and laws are made and changed, and not be swayed by politics.”

He said now is the time for all Sarawakians to be united in supporting every move that could bring back the state’s rights.

“Pouring cold water on this effort tantamount to disloyalty to the state and I hope all Sarawakians can see this too,” he added.

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