Opposition party tells Sarawak to contest two federal laws

Soo (right) says there is no point for the state government to harp that PDA and TSA are not applicable to Sarawak, July 26, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Soo (right) says there is no point for the state government to harp that PDA and TSA are not applicable to Sarawak, July 26, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, July 26 — The Sarawak government should call for a special state assembly sitting to reject the extension of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) here, State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said today.

She said tabling a motion to reject these would formalise the state’s contention that the laws were illegal and unconstitutional as they were never endorsed by Sarawak lawmakers.

“The endorsement of the motion in the state assembly is a sure way to say that we do not recognise PDA and TSA once and for all,” Soo told reporters.

Soo expressed her disappointment that the state government did not do so in the previous state assembly meeting.

She said it was pointless for Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg to keep insisting that PDA and TSA are not applicable to Sarawak when he was not taking action in the state assembly.

“Before anything else happens, we must take a constitutional move,” Soo said, referring to federal Economics Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s remarks that the federal government was considering amending PDA with regards to the royalty paid to petroleum producing states.

Azmin told Parliament yesterday the PDA must be amended before Putrajaya could increase the oil royalty rates, adding that this was also necessary to calculate a 20-per cent royalty on net profits from the sale of the commodity.

Soo also rejected the proposal for royalty to be paid on profits instead of revenue, saying that 20 per cent of the former was much less than 5 per cent of the latter as is currently practised.

“Oil and gas resources belong to us so why should we continue to receive pittance when we can claim 100 per cent?” she asked.