KUCHING: The State Legislative Assembly (DUN) never endorsed the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
In his winding up speech yesterday, Abang Johari said the Oil Mining Ordinance of 1958 is a law that still remains in force today.
“The Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO 1958) gives Sarawak full regulatory authority over all persons and companies involved in the operations of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak,” he told the august House yesterday.
“Petronas applied to the Federal Court to seek a declaration that the Sarawak OMO 1958 was already repealed implicitly by the Petroleum Development Act (PDA). We are glad that this application to seek the declaration in the Federal Court was rejected by the Federal Court on June 22, 2018.”
Abang Johari stressed that Sarawak is proceeding with enforcing the OMO 1958 and the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 effective July 1, 2018 through the Sarawak Minerals and Management Authority (SMMA) through Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).
“The provisions for enforcement are tightened by the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill 2018 passed in this august House last week on July 10, 2018,” he said.
With the Gas Distribution Ordinance, he said, the Sarawak government will work closely with the Federal Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Petronas regarding the distribution of natural gas to consumers in Sarawak.
“We hope that Petronas can understand the position that the Sarawak government is taking. We wish to assure oil and gas industry players in Sarawak that the Sarawak government is reasonable and is business friendly,” he said.
“The Sarawak government expects Petronas to be friendly and cooperative. After all, Pakatan Harapan (PH) in its GE14 manifesto promised to deliver to Sarawak a petroleum royalty of 20 per cent, up from 5 per cent. This indicates that the PH federal government favours Sarawakians in its dealings, at the very least, in regards to petroleum.”
Abang Johari noted that this issue has been simmering in the hearts of Sarawakians since 1974, when the PDA was first promulgated in Parliament.
“Our goal is to restore to Sarawak rights that are enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63) – the international treaty between Sarawak, Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia, which puts Sarawak as an equal partner with Malaya and Sabah,” he pointed out.
“Among those rights are the rights of Sarawak to our own legislations, including those that were enacted before the formation of the Federation.”