Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s admission that he was in the dark with regard to the award of production sharing contract (PSC) for exploring Block SK410B in the shallow waters off the coast of Sarawak did not go down well with many BorneoPost Online readers in Facebook.
The general sentiments among those who commented were that how could the state government be in the dark over the award of the PSC when it happened ‘in our own backyard’.
Andrew Ojean even suggested to Adenan to get more well-informed and capable advisors to advise him on state matters to avoid being made a laughing stock.
Jonathan Song said Sarawakians should be fully in the picture of what would happen to the state’s natural resources in the future that would affect the future generations.
EY Aprilla commented if not for Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, the chief minister would continue to be in the dark over the ‘robbery’ that was happening under his nose.
The issue came to light after See asked the state government and Petronas to explain the SK410B PSC awarded to a joint venture comprising PTTEP, KUFPEC and Petronas Carigali.
According to Bangkok Post on July 21, PTTEP won the rights for exploration of an offshore petroleum resource block in Sarawak whereby PTTEP holds 42.5 per cent, with KUFPEC and Petronas Carigali holding 42.5 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
The parties concerned signed the PSC with Petronas for the exploration of Block SK410B located in shallow waters offshore Sarawak on July 21.
See, who is state PKR vice chairman, doubted if the state government was consulted on this PSC to operate a block of 695 square miles or 1,800 square kilometres offshore Sarawak as it was not reported locally but was widely reported outside Malaysia.
“Barely a month before it was awarded, the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) and Sarawak State Assembly had made out clear determination to control and develop the natural resources found within the territorial boundary of Sarawak and that the state government must be involved in the award of all PSCs for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas and related petroleum products in Sarawak, whether onshore or offshore of Sarawak.
“However, it appears that Sarawak has no share of equity and direct participation in this joint venture that was announced. In this SK410B PSC, PTTEP and KUFPEC each has participating interest of 42.5 per cent, while Petronas Carigali holds the remaining 15 per cent stake,” he was quoted as saying.
See strongly questioned whether Petronas made the decision behind the back of the Sarawak state government.
“Clearly, Petronas has not been fair and transparent with Sarawak regarding its operation in the state.”
See said an explanation from Petronas on the award of this particular PSC would be a necessary step by the state government to show its determination to demand for the rights and interests of Sarawak in the development of the state’s natural resources as a corporate partner.
On Sunday (Aug 28), See said he would forward the relevant information to the Chief Minister’s Office yesterday and hoped that the Chief Minister would follow up with a strong representation to the federal government to protest on the award of the PSC which is detrimental and prejudicial to the state, without the knowledge and sanction of the state government.
Jonathan Chia, email@example.com