S'wak needs to review 2 Acts for control of O&G industry, says academic
Mon, Mar 12, 2018
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PETALING JAYA: The Sarawak government must review the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012, in order to have full control of its oil and gas industry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Head of Asian Studies Centre, Associate Prof. Dr Faisal S. Hazis said today.
He is of the opinion that, if the two laws "do not need to be amended or do serve any purpose, then they should be nullified".
Faisal said if the legislative is still force and "if the state feels the two laws are irrelevant, common sense will say to nullify it".
Currently, he added that Petronas is freely drilling oil by paying 5% royalty and if the state government, wants absolute control, they must reverse the two legislative laws that are still in force.
"Sarawak must see if the PDA is unconstitutional, because natural resources like minerals should come under the jurisdiction of the state and not the federal government."
On Thursday, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patingi Abang Johari Openg dismissed a state lawmaker's claim that two pieces of federal legislation must be amended for Sarawak to lay claim to its own oil, saying such rights were already defined in the Federal Constitution.
He went on to say that the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 and Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012 were "not relevant" to his state's plan to appropriate all oil and gas activity in its t erritory.
"Any law that is ultra vires to the Federal Constitution as provided for under Article 4 is void," he said.
Citing an example, Faisal said In 2012, Sarawak and Sabah lost their sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the area of the Continental Shelf, consisting of the seabed and its subsoil beneath the high seas contiguous to the territorial waters of the Borneo states, when Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA) came into effect, limiting both their jurisdictions to three nautical miles (5.5 km) from the coastline.
"To me, this amounts to a very clear indication to gain control of Sarawak's Oil and Gas."
He said Sarawak, has been known as the "inter players of national politics and the federal government will need their support."
On the oil royalty increase that Sarawak was seeking from 5% to 20%, he said, "Now its no longer about the oil royalty. The control is bigger now than the oil royalty."< p>Sources said, apart from the oil and gas sector, the Sarawak government is also trying to get back, its economic devolution powers in areas like timber, ports, education, transportation and development projects from the federal government.
A spokesperson with the state government who did not want to identified said, "Nothing of that sort. The state government does not plan to challenge or review the PDA."
"What the state government wants, is the constitutional relationship with the federal government and at the same time implementing some of the ordinance that, has not been enforced," the spokesperson said.
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