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KUCHING, April 17 — There is nothing to celebrate about Sarawak gaining control and management of its gas distribution because it is ‘only a small portion’ compared to its major rights and privileges in petroleum, said Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) publicity secretary Liu Thian Leong.
“With the enforcement of the Petroleum Development Act on Oct 1, 1974, Sarawak had lost the entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether onshore or offshore. We only get five per cent — the rest goes to Petronas,” he said in a statement today.
With the Constitutional Amendment enacted in 1976, Liu said the status of Sarawak as an equal founding partner together with the Malay peninsula and Sabah was reduced to become the 13th state in Malaysia.
He pointed out that Sarawak’s territorial sea for exploitation or exploration is limited to 3 nautical miles only, although the Territorial Sea Act 2012 sets out 12 nautical miles as the breadth of the territorial sea throughout Malaysia.
This meant that Sarawak shall not be paid any royalty, not even the 5 per cent, for any oil and gas found and exploited beyond 3 nautical miles offshore, Liu added.
“After being deprived of the privilege to consume our own product, finally we may be able to use it.
“But when compared with major rights and privileges that have been lost or eroded under the rule of the present government, the supply and marketing (of Sarawak’s gas) is merely a little rightful privilege that have been deprived of Sarawak people,” he said.
Liu was responding to the outcome of the recent meeting of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) Special Council on April 13.
Sarawak was handed over the control and management of gas distribution under Distribution of Gas Ordinance 2016, to take effect on June 1 this year.
Meanwhile, Liu commented that the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s visit to Sarawak and announced the state as a region or ‘wilayah’ triggered many controversies among the people of Sarawak and Sabah.
He added that the people were recounting what was lost or eroded since Sarawak formed Malaysia, instead of embracing such announcement with open arms.
“Can we actually regained what we have lost?” he further questioned. — Borneo Post Online