Premier: Sarawak not being parochial in reclaiming rights under MA63

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Abang Johari speaks during the MAP-I at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today. – Penerangan photo

KUCHING (Sept 18): Sarawak is not trying to be parochial through its pursuance of the restoration of its rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said all Sarawak wants is for fairness and to reclaim what is right under the agreement.

“We want to have a fair system. We have laws and it’s the MA63 so we have to comply with the law.

“This is what we are doing, nothing else,” he said at the Majlis Amanat Perdana Integriti 2023 (MAP-I) and launch of the National Integrity Conference (PINK) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

In his speech, he brought up the recent six oil and gas discoveries by Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd in five blocks off the coast of Sarawak.

“Somebody went on social media mentioning that we talked about these six oil wells by Petronas. This person had asked Peninsular Malaysians to go against us on this matter.

“To me, that is a win-win situation. We work with Petronas and the federal government,” he said.

He stressed that Sarawak was not going against its federal counterpart regarding the recent discoveries.

“We just want what is due to us. You have your Petroleum Development Act 1974 and we have our own law that is the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO).

“Our law has not been repealed; it’s still there. So, we should share and work together for Malaysia. If Sarawak is prosperous, so will Malaysia.

“Our intention is for the whole country. I am not fighting against Peninsular Malaysia. All I asked is for fairness, that is all,” he said.

Earlier this month, Abang Johari said state oil company Petros has yet to be directly involved in the management of the six oil wells discovered offshore Sarawak, but there is an arrangement within the commercial agreement between the state and Petronas.

He said based on the commercial agreement signed between Sarawak and Petronas Carigali, Petronas should divide half of its equity to Sarawak.

Former federal minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Aug 23, said Sarawak instantly made its claims on the six oil wells.

He said Sarawak is a signatory to the 1974 Agreement with Petronas and is also bound by the Law of the Sea 2012 passed by Parliament.

“Apparently, their 1958 law gives them ownership of the wells under the Exclusive Economic Zone. (EEZ).

“Wakil Rakyat (elected representatives) from Tanah Melayu (Peninsular Malaysia) must not sleep and let Sarawak get away with this latest claim,” he said in the post.

Zaid was a former senator and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Legal Affairs and Judicial Reforms.