SIBU: The state government has been urged to pass a motion to review the Petroleum Development Act 1974 as well as the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and obtain a court order to declare them null and void.
Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang in a press statement said this in response to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s comments that the state will assume full regulatory authority over its oil and gas upstream and downstream industry by July.
“Though there are valid considerations that both Acts have contravened the Federal Constitution, it is not correct to say that they are not applicable in Sarawak,” she said.
Chang added the chief minister has to bring the matter before the courts.
“And until the Courts declare them null and void, the Acts are in force and applicable in Sarawak.
“To say otherwise is to give people false hope and the state government owes it to the people to set the matter straight,” she added.
Chang said it was time for the state Barisan Nasional to prove their sincerity in claiming back what rightfully belongs to Sarawak.
On the setting up of Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) and Development Bank of Sarawak, she said though they sound impressive and would create employment, whatever oil and gas that may be exploited in its waters will still return to Petronas.
“And we are entitled to only 5% of the royalties paid by Petronas.
“So the only way forward is for the state government to go to court to seek declarations that the two laws are null and void.
“Then the ownership over oil and gas resources would revert to the state.
“The state government might even have the legal right to demand that all revenue earned from the resources from 1974 until now be returned,” said Chang.