KUCHING: The Sarawak government has expressed its “deep disappointment” with the decision by Federal Court to postpone to June 21 a hearing over the state rights on its oil and gas resources.
In a statement yesterday, the state government said it will consider all other options to protect and enforce its constitutional rights in this matter,
On June 4, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) filed a suit seeking a declaration from the Federal Court that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources in the country, as well as the only regulator of upstream activities nationwide, including in Sarawak.
The case was supposed to be heard on Monday, June 11.
“It is surprising that Petronas who made the application and sought an urgent hearing has no objection to the postponement of hearing of the case,” it said.
The postponement, according to the statement, was granted without according the Sarawak Attorney General legal team the courtesy of being heard on the state government’s objection.
“The state government would not allow Petronas to disrespect and disregard our rights to regulate the upstream activities under our laws such as the Oil Mining Ordinance and the Land Code,” it said.
Over the past year, Sarawak has embarked on several initiatives that would see Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) come into force from July.
An official letter from Sarawak Attorney General (AG) Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid to Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin on April 13 stated that from July 1, the state government would regulate the downstream and upstream O&G industry in accordance to state laws.