KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has reiterated that Sarawak is constitutionally entitled to licensing rights over its oil and gas resources.
Even the authorities in Putrajaya had acknowledged the state’s rights on the matter, he told Sarawakians residing and studying in Britain during a gathering organised by the Sarawak Foundation in London.
“We have the licensing rights and Petronas’ is the development part,” he said in reference to the Federal Constitution’s provisions.
As such, Abang Johari said the state government through its oil and gas company Petros is collaborating with Petronas to ensure that Sarawak would stand to benefit from its oil and gas resources.
He added that although the state’s licensing rights had not been enforced in the last 40 years, Sarawak would not compromise on what lawfully belonged to the state.
The Chief Minister was in London with a delegation for a two-week study trip to Britain, the United States and Canada before a final stop in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to meet potential investors.
Abang Johari visited the University of London and Oxford University to explore possibilities of collaboration that would pave the way for Sarawakian students to be given places in various fields of study.
In the US, he will visit Stanford University to look at its research activities and facilities and assess the prospect of similar collaborations with the university and others in Silicon Valley.
Abang Johari said Sarawak would continue to send students overseas to pursue studies in new disciplines which are not available locally, such as cybersecurity, programming and data science.
“Sarawakians need to acquire new knowledge in order to be acquainted with the new ecosystem and development trends around the world,” he added.