SUPP more interested in state’s rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963

MIRI: SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting thanks Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem for his recent announcement on securing an administrative empowerment from the federal government, saying that the empowerment helps to encourage more Sarawakians to be involved in managing federal civil service in the state.

“Nevertheless, SUPP’s interest lies more with the state rights (Phase 2) under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Phase 3 which touches on Financial Management and Entitlements.

“It has come to SUPP’s attention that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which will be debated in Parliament very soon actually has some impact on Sarawak’s oil and gas ownership,” Ting said in a press release received here yesterday.

He said based on the TPPA document provided by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) the Annex IV Malaysia’ (page 5), stated that Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA 74) had vested Petronas with the entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining of petroleum and hydrocarbon resources, whether onshore or offshore Malaysia.

“SUPP strongly disagrees because after the lifting of the Proclamation of Emergency on 24 November 2011 under Article 150 (7) of the Federal Constitution, the ownership of our territorial waters returns back to Sarawak.

“Our territorial waters are further protected under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.

“Furthermore, SUPP does not agree that Petronas is the sole entity that may award petroleum exploration, development and production contracts to other companies in our territorial waters because this authorisation power should now belong to the state government of Sarawak.”

Ting insisted that Sarawak, as the owner should have the right to engage in exploration, development and production of petroleum and hydrocarbon resources via the state issuing licensing and permits.

“Although this has yet to be given official acknowledgment by the federal government, we are keeping our hope for the green light,” he said.

As the TPPA is to be an international treaty with several other countries involved, Ting said it was deemed pertinent that the state government highlight this potential breach of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the IGC report before it became a fait accompli by the fact that the parliamentarians vote for the TPPA to be enforced.

“We should not forget that our State Legislative Assembly (DUN) has given the mandate to the Sarawak government on December 8, 2015 to reconcile all federal laws to tie in with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and IGC report.

“It will be a great embarrassment to those concerned when, in the reconciliation process, establish that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 is no longer applicable to Sarawak because the federal government no longer owns that Sarawak Territorial Waters.

“The clause on PDA 74 was inserted into the TPPA with the assumption that the federal government is still the owner of the territorial waters and the resources therein.”.-Borneo Post

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