State never agreed to change of boundary

Abang Johari stresses nobody can alter state’s territorial water border without consent of its Legislative Assembly

Abang Johari stressing a point on territorial water boundary by referring to the legal proviso in the Federal Constitution.

MIRI: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg said Sarawak has never consented to the amendment to the boundary of its territorial waters in Parliament.

He said he stood by the Federal Constitution as the supreme law in determining the boundary of Sarawak’s territorial waters as 12 nautical miles from shore as laws passed by Parliament have no constitutional or legal effect without the consent of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

“Sarawak has the right to the established boundaries of water of 12 nautical miles. Nobody can change that as in Article 2 of the State List, you can’t change the boundary unless the state consents in legislation.”

“I stand by the Federal Constitution as the supreme law. If I am wrong, sue me but if I am right, support me,” he said at the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Miri Region luncheon dialogue attended by a crowd of 400 from the business community in Miri.

Abang Johari said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had been supportive of his stand.

The formation of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and the exercising of the constitutional rights under Item 2(c) of the State List and 8(j) of the Federal List as provided in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution was aimed at greater participation of Sarawakian players in the oil and gas industry apart from exploiting her resources according to the state’s rights.

Ownership of territorial seas and waters means it is within Sarawak’s right to take control of her marine wealth and to exercise the power to grant licences for prospecting, exploration, granting of oil mining leases, and to issue deep-sea fishing licences.

Article 2(b) empowers Parliament to alter the boundaries of any state but a law altering the boundaries of a state shall not be passed without the consent of that state.

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