Petroleum Sarawak is not 1MDB, says Chief Minister

KUCHING: The state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) is nothing like 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as alleged by a website, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“There’s been a malicious (article) written on Petros. We have a transparent organisation. That website and has malicious intentions,” he said when opening the Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation’s new Demak Yard here on Monday (March 4).


Bright chance of regaining seat

MIRI: Sarawak Barisan Nasional component parties must go all out to recapture the Miri parliamentary seat in the coming 14th general election.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg noted the seat was once a Barisan stronghold but was lost to the opposition for the first time in 2013.

He said with all four component parties – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) – now fully recovered after being embroiled in internal conflicts, the chances of winning back the Miri parliamentary seat seemed bright.

“We must win the Miri parliamentary seat so that we can develop together for the future generation,” he said at the Chinese New Year dinner organised by SUPP Miri and Sibuti parliamentary liaison committee.

Abang Johari, who is also the state Barisan chairman, said the Miri community must think rationally during GE14 as it would determine the future of Miri as well as the development of Miri division.

“All four leaders in Sarawak Barisan component parties are Sarawakians, we will protect the state’s rights based on the constitution,” he added.

Meanwhile, Miri SUPP and Sibuti Parliamentary liaison committee chairman Datuk Lee Kim Shim said the party had formed an election committee and its election machinery was ready to move once campaigning starts.

“Together with our component parties PBB, PRS and PDP, we will make sure that we wrest the Miri parliamentary seat,” he said.

On another issue, Lee who is state Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister hoped that the state government would study the possibility of turning the Miri river from Pullman Hotel to Kampung Wireless into a waterfront that could attract tourists similar to the Kuching Waterfront.

He also appealed to the chief minister to consider making Miri City the headquarters of Sarawak-owned oil and gas company, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).

“Miri has been the centre of the oil and gas industry for hundreds of years.

“It is hoped that Petros will play an active role in developing the oil and gas industry in Sarawak, particularly in Miri, thereby creating more jobs and opportunities for the locals,” he added. — Bernama


PH ciplak janji pulangkan hak Sarawak : Abang Johari

PETRA JAYA : Janji pembangkang untuk mengembalikan hak Sarawak dan Sabah yang terkandung manifesto gabungan itu sekadar “pemanis” menjelang Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU14).

Ketua Menteri, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg, berkata pemulangan hak itu sebenarnya sudah dibuktikan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan sudah pun dilaksanakan.

Sehubungan itu, katanya janji PH untuk mengembalikan hak Sarawak itu bukan hanya menciplak usaha Barisan Nasional (BN) malah jelas hanya sekadar untuk meraih sokongan menjelang PRU-14.

“Perkara itu (memulangkan hak Sarawak) sebenarnya sudah banyak dibuktikan Perdana Menteri antaranya menerusi pemberian hak kepada Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS) untuk menguruskan pengeluaran minyak di negeri ini.

“Mengapa ketika 22 tahun berkuasa (merujuk kepada Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) tidak memikirkan hal itu tetapi sekarang tiba-tiba pula menyebut mengenainya,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada media selepas merasmikan Pameran Kerjaya dan Latihan Sarawak (SCaTFAIR) di Pusat Konvensyen Borneo Kuching (BCCK) di sini, hari ini.

Abang Johari berkata, beliau tidak hairan dengan janji yang dicipta pembangkang kerana ia ibarat “buah yang gugur” menjelang pilihan raya.

Sementara itu, mengenai pertemuan beliau dengan pemimpin Kerajaan Persekutuan di Putrajaya semalam, Abang Johari sekadar berkata ada perkara penting yang dibincangkan.

“Tunggulah, saya akan umumkannya,” katanya.

Terdahulu ketika berucap merasmikan majlis itu, Abang Johari menggesa rakyat negeri ini khususnya golongan muda supaya berusaha merebut peluang untuk bersaing dalam era teknologi digital.

“Kita mesti merebut peluang untuk menimba pengetahuan dan bersedia untuk berubah sesuai dengan perubahan zaman yang semakin maju.

“Jika tidak mahu ketinggalan, kita harus berubah, contohnya dalam perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam, pengusaha teksi harus menerima perubahan dengan kehadiran perkhidmatan bentuk baharu,” katanya.


Petros to kick-off exploration activities in Miri this year – Abang Johari

Abang Johari (centre) flanked on his right by Chia and Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg at SCCI luncheon business dialogue with the Miri business community.

MIRI: Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) will kick-off its exploration activities in Miri this year as the state will assume full regulatory authority over its upstream and downstream of the oil and gas industry by July, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

In stressing that the state will exploit its oil and gas resources which are under the State List as per the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Abang Johari said those who dismissed his assertion of the state rights were “blowing hot air and talking nonsense”.

“This augurs well for the business community when the activities start,” he said at the business luncheon dialogue organised by Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Miri Region committee held at Eastwood Golf and Country Club today.

Abang Johari, however, did not say when such prospecting operations would kick-off.

Abang Johari said the state has been fighting for oil and gas royalty to be raised from five per cent to 20 per cent as spearheaded by his predecessor, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.

However, he said it was not easy for the state to get what it wanted unless with the consent from the federal government, as the Federal Constitution had put a cap of 10 per cent for oil and gas royalty.

He said this when fielding questions from the floor on what the future holds for Miri with Petros coming into the picture which was formerly dominated by Shell and Petronas.

Abang Johari,  earlier on in his address, advised the community to be opened to the bigger picture and look beyond the oil and gas industry as the engine of growth and business in the city.

According to organising chairman Andy Chia who is a former Pujut state assemblyman and SCCI Miri Region committee chairman, the Miri community is looking forward to Petros setting up its base in the city which is home to the oil and gas industry for over a century.


Sarawak to get back lost rights

State to act on PM’s assurance by assuming full authority over O&G resources through Petros

Abang Johari pens his digital signature on the monitor to symbolically launch Petros while Hamid (eighth left), Uggah (sixth left), Dr Rundi (fourth left), Dr Sim (right), Abdul Karim (seventh left), Morshidi (fifth left) and others look on. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has agreed to return to the state, power that has been inadvertently eroded over the years.

Acting on Najib’s assurance, the state will assume full regulatory authority over its oil and gas upstream and downstream industry by July.

This was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the launching of Petros held at a leading hotel here last night.

He said the state will be able to exploit its natural resources of oil and gas under the State List as per the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

“The formation of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and the exercising of the constitutional rights under Item 2(c) of the State List and 8(j) of the Federal List as provided in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution is the outcome of the discussion on devolution of power between the state and federal government.

“I would like to therefore thank the Prime Minister for agreeing to give back the power that has been inadvertently eroded over the years,” he said.

The chief minister added that persons and companies involved in the oil and gas industry in the state must henceforth have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance or the Gas Distribution Ordinance.

“In other words, they are required to regularise their operations and activities to comply with all state laws including those relating to the use and occupation of land.”

However, he assured that the enforcement of state laws will not jeopardise the interests or investments of Petronas and other companies already involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak.

“But, their business and operational activities must be aligned with our laws and regulations.”

Abang Johari said Petros will spearhead the state’s participation in the oil and gas sector which is strategically important to the overall socio-economic development objectives of Sarawak.

“Petros will be granted rights to mine oil and natural gas in the state and be an important player in the upstream oil and gas industry.

“Given the significant role of Petros in Sarawak’s oil and gas sector, I believe it is important for Petros to be strong, effective and efficient in performing its mandated roles,” he said.

The state will delegate the oil and gas regulatory and supervisory authority to Petros for it to play its role effectively, he added.

“With this in mind, Petros must build on its strategic presence in Sarawak in order to grow and to deliver sustainable economic benefits via its business model, while at the same time safeguarding the interests of our state and its resources.”

Petros will also be required to seek guidance from the state government for broad policy direction in the execution of its strategic roles and responsibilities.

Abang Johari pointed out that the launching of Petros was a clear testimony that substantial progress has been achieved in the ongoing discussion on devolution of power.

“With the continued support of the people for Barisan Nasional (BN), more progress will be made to meet the aspirations of Sarawakians that the state of Sarawak attain the level of development of the more developed states in Peninsular Malaysia, by having more revenues from our oil, gas and other mineral resources to fund the state government’s development agenda and the initiatives launched by me for a digital economy for Sarawak.”

Later at the ceremony, Abang Johari handed over the licence to grant Petros the rights to mine oil and natural gas in the state which was received by Petros chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamid Bugo.

Among those present at the ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani and cabinet ministers.


Saau Kakok appointed CEO of Petros

Abang Johari (second left) arrives for the launch of Petros. He is accompanied by Hamid (second right), Morshidi (right), Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol (left), Petros director Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah (third right) and others.

KUCHING: The newlylaunched Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) will be helmed by Saau Kakok, who has been officially appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Saau, a Bidayuh, had spent almost 40 years of his career in the oil and gas industry, his last post being the vice president for Asia of a United States-based independent oil company.

“Saau is an experienced and professional individual in the oil and gas fraternity who will lead a competent and high integrity Petros operational team.

“Petros is fortunate to gain Saau’s experience, talent and vision. I am confident that he is the right person to lead Petros into the future, adding value to the careers of talented young Sarawakians while making Petros the best place to work,” he said when announcing the Sarawakian’s appointment at the official launch of Petros at a leading hotel here on Tuesday.

Saau’s appointment, he noted, proved that Sarawak has a good pool of talents with the experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry.

Abang Johari introduces Saau as the CEO during his keynote address at the launch of Petros.

“Their involvement will be further enhanced with participation in contracts and supply of services offered by Petros,” he said and assured that the state government will issue guidelines to Petros to ensure greater and more meaningful participation by Sarawakians and Sarawak companies in this sector.

In addition to Saau, Abang Johari also said that Datin Josephine Hilary Dom had been appointed as an additional member of Petros’ board of directors early this year.

“Josephine is a respected individual in the field of finance and accounting and has been around in the Malaysian corporate world for more than three decades now.”

Petros, led by its chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamid Bugo, now has five board members; namely Josephine, Datu Zuraimi Sabki, Sharbini Suhaili, Heng Hock Cheng and Datuk Mohammad Medan Abdullah.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said Petronas has been exporting liquefied natural gas from Sarawak since 1975, and the revenues so derived have contributed tremendously to the national economy and the development of the Federation.

“By the exercise of our constitutional rights, the state government is fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Sarawak that the additional revenues from oil and gas will accelerate industrial development and economic progress to enable Malaysia as a whole to achieve a high income economy by the year 2030.”

To this, he said the state government would like to see Petros work alongside Petronas both in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

“Both companies can contribute significantly towards the advancement of the oil and gas industry in Malaysia and the economic progress and prosperity of our nation,” he said.

Among those attending the ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani and cabinet ministers.

Abang Johari greets guests upon his arrival.


CM: DUN never endorsed PDA 1974

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The State Legislative Assembly (DUN) never endorsed the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

In his winding up speech yesterday, Abang Johari said the Oil Mining Ordinance of 1958 is a law that still remains in force today.

“The Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO 1958) gives Sarawak full regulatory authority over all persons and companies involved in the operations of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak,” he told the august House yesterday.

“Petronas applied to the Federal Court to seek a declaration that the Sarawak OMO 1958 was already repealed implicitly by the Petroleum Development Act (PDA). We are glad that this application to seek the declaration in the Federal Court was rejected by the Federal Court on June 22, 2018.”

Abang Johari stressed that Sarawak is proceeding with enforcing the OMO 1958 and the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 effective July 1, 2018 through the Sarawak Minerals and Management Authority (SMMA) through Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).

“The provisions for enforcement are tightened by the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill 2018 passed in this august House last week on July 10, 2018,” he said.

With the Gas Distribution Ordinance, he said, the Sarawak government will work closely with the Federal Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Petronas regarding the distribution of natural gas to consumers in Sarawak.

“We hope that Petronas can understand the position that the Sarawak government is taking. We wish to assure oil and gas industry players in Sarawak that the Sarawak government is reasonable and is business friendly,” he said.

“The Sarawak government expects Petronas to be friendly and cooperative. After all, Pakatan Harapan (PH) in its GE14 manifesto promised to deliver to Sarawak a petroleum royalty of 20 per cent, up from 5 per cent. This indicates that the PH federal government favours Sarawakians in its dealings, at the very least, in regards to petroleum.”

Abang Johari noted that this issue has been simmering in the hearts of Sarawakians since 1974, when the PDA was first promulgated in Parliament.

“Our goal is to restore to Sarawak rights that are enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63) – the international treaty between Sarawak, Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia, which puts Sarawak as an equal partner with Malaya and Sabah,” he pointed out.

“Among those rights are the rights of Sarawak to our own legislations, including those that were enacted before the formation of the Federation.”


Uggah backs Abang Johari in regaining Sarawak’s rights

Uggah (fifth left) presenting a memento to Abang Johari as other guests look on.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg “will never walk alone” in regaining the state’s rights as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He pointed out that he was fully behind the chief minister, who is also PBB president, to continue with the commitment, strategy and move to regain the rights of the state.

Uggah, who is Deputy Chief Minister, also pointed out that such message was conveyed during the 14th PBB convention last month, where the party’s 82 branches across the state had indicated strongly their support for Abang Johari to lead the state and fight for the state’s rights.

“We (party members) want to pass an unequivocal message that you (Abang Johari) will never walk alone with the move, strategy and commitment to regain the state’s rights under MA63 that have been advertently or inadvertently eroded,” he said on Tuesday at the PBB 14th Convention appreciation dinner.

Abang Johari was the guest of honour at the dinner which was held at Hilton Hotel here.

Describing Abang Johari as visionary and committed to fight for the people in the state, Uggah said the chief minister deserved the full support from party members and the people.

He mentioned the setting up of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), through which the state will have a full regulatory control of her oil and gas resources, as among the brave and bold moves by Abang Johari to reclaim and exert the right of boundary of the state based on Queen and Counsel Document 1954.

He stressed that the state’s rights to her oil and gas will bring substantial revenue to the state.

Uggah took a swipe at DAP state chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who had said issuing of mining licence by the state was just ‘hot air’, and urged the people to reject the Peninsula-based political party.

The deputy chief minister also pointed out that PBB after the convention was more strong, united and stable and deserved to lead the state government.

The chief minister’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is also PBB senior vice president; Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi; State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar; Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin; Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi; and Minister of Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah were among those present.


Petronas’ suit a desperate act to hang on to Sarawak oil rights, says activist

PETRONAS’ legal action seeking the Federal Court’s declaration on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) shows how desperate it is to hang on to the state’s oil and gas resources, one of Sarawak’s more vocal political and rights activists Lina Soo said.

“They must have known that they don’t have control over our oil and gas, so they try to get the Federal Court to shut us up,” Soo, who is also the president of the State Reform Party Sarawak (Star) political party said in reaction to the national oil company asking the apex court to declare that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources in Malaysia, including Sarawak, and that it is the regulator for the upstream industry throughout the country.

Soo said Petronas’ legal action reflected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s long-standing position (when he was prime minister from 1981 to 2003) not to accede to Sarawak and Sabah’s demand for a greater share of its oil and gas resources.

“They just want to avoid paying the 20% oil royalty (Pakatan Harapan promised in its election manifesto) and they will try every means not to pay.”

Soo said Sarawakians should not be surprised if the new PH government would use the RM1 trillion debt as an excuse not to increase the royalty.

The two Borneo territories currently are only getting 5%.

In March, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the PDA and the equally controversial law, the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (TSA), are not relevant in Sarawak.

He said since both were federal laws and for any federal law to be implemented in the state, the legislative assembly has to ratify them.

Neither the PDA nor the TSA were ever ratified by the assembly.

“Any law that is ultra vires the constitution under Article 4 of the federal constitution is void,” he said.

Sarawak has also warned all companies in the state’s oil and gas industry and companies intending to do prospecting and mining work to have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the Oil Mining Ordinance or the Gas Distribution Ordinance from July 1.

The state’s newly formed oil company, Petros, will from July 1 also assume full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state from Petronas.

The state government has yet to react to the Petronas action and the state government spokesman, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Abdullah Saidol, said the chief minister will issue a statement on this matter “soon”. – June 4, 2018.


State govt wants active participation of Sarawakians in O&G

Taib (sixth left) and Ragad together with Abang Johari (on Taib’s right), (from left) Dr Abdul Rahman, Chan, Lee, Hii, Wong (on Ragad’s left) with others performing property toss ceremony of Yee Sang. 

MIRI: State government wants Sarawakian oil and gas (O&G) companies to take part actively in the exploration of O&G industry in the state, particularly in Miri which housed Malaysia’s first oil well in Canada Hill.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government has issued a license to its wholly-owned O&G company, Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS) to explore the oil and gas industry in Miri.

“We will pursue participation in term of economic diversification including digital economy and agriculture.

“Sarawakians have to be part actively in what Miri is famous for its oil and gas industry. Thus, we have given license to PETROS to explore the oil and gas in Miri,” he stated when delivering his speech during Chinese New Year (CNY) Gathering organised by Federation of Miri Division Chinese Associations Sarawak at Imperial Hotel on Friday.

The gathering, attended by some 700 guests, was graced by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib.

To protect the rights of the state, Abang Johari said the state is now exercising its power under the Constitution which demanded non-Sarawakian oil company to get license for operating in Sarawak.

Thus, he assured Sarawakians that there is room for local participation not only in oil and gas industry but also explore the hydrocarbon within the state borders.

“Last time, there is no opportunity for Sarawakian companies to be involved in oil and gas industry but now we can because we have the right to exercise our power.

“That is the strength that we have and I urge the people in Miri to stand behind us. It is because there are a lot of thing that we can do to further transform Sarawak into a real progress state by 2030.”

Also present were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and wife Datin Patinggi Puan Sri Datuk Lorna Enan Muloon, Miri mayor Adam Yii, president of the Miri Division Federation of Chinese Associations Sarawak Hii Teck Yun, organising chairlady Wong Siew Wei and other Chinese dignitaries.