State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo urged the state government today to start demanding Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) pay mining and related fees for its 44 years of oil and gas activities in the state.
She estimated the accumulated charges since 1974 could reach US$1 trillion (RM4 trillion).
“In this respect, I request the Sarawak Finance Ministry to prepare the bill and collect the outstanding payment from Petronas so that we will have the means to finance the Pan Borneo highway and provide water, electricity and healthcare to our rural population,” Soo said.
Soo, who is also a Sarawak rights activist, was responding to the failure by Petronas to obtain leave in the Federal Court earlier today to commence proceedings against the state government under Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution by way of a petition for a declaratory relief.
The national oil company had sought a declaration that Petroleum Development Act 1974 applied with regard to regulatory control of upstream activities – including exploration, exploitation, winning and obtaining of onshore and offshore petroleum – within Sarawak and that the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) was implicitly repealed by the PDA.
The state government had argued that OMO – which it will rely on to start regulating and issuing licences for Sarawak’s upstream oil and gas activities including by Petronas starting from next month – is still a valid state law.
Soo said that despite the court victory, Sarawak still has a long struggle to recover the rights and powers which have been usurped by the federal government over decades.
She added that PDA is a serious violation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) through subversion the state’s rights, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Soo urged the Sarawak government to evaluate this fundamental breach of MA63 without fear or favour, and take action accordingly.
With the failure by Petronas to obtain leave in the Federal Court, Soo said the state’s rights and protections under the Sarawak Constitution, MA63 and Federal Constitution are intact. – Malay Mail