Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has been urged to make a strong representation to Petronas on the need to consult Sarawak in its dealings with the onshore and offshore blocks or fields of oil and gas potentials.
In making this call, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How also urged the state government to seriously consider investing in and taking ownership of the development of these depleting valuable petroleum resources in Sarawak’s territorial boundary.
See, who is state PKR vice chairman, said it is unacceptable for Petronas to continue ignoring Sarawak’s assertion of autonomous power and rights to resources within the state’s territorial boundary and most particularly after Sarawak’s administration under the former chief minister, the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, had made a strong representation to Putrajaya on the state’s sovereign rights in territorial integrity after the revocation of the Emergency Orders in 2011 and Sarawak’s call for the re-enactment of the Territorial Seas Act 2012 with specific demand to amend sections 3 and 4 of the original Act.
“I am seriously contemplating to move a Private Member’s Motion on this matter at the coming Sarawak State Assembly sitting scheduled to sit from May 11 to 22 and I am hopeful that my fellow ADUNs (state assemblypersons) will be supportive of it, to take another important step towards fulfilling Tan Sri Adenan’s and all Sarawakians’ aspiration that Sarawak’s inherent sovereign and autonomous powers be respected by the Federation,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
See said despite Petronas’ denial two months ago and yesterday, the details and information concerning the national petroleum company’s plan to sell its stake in the SK316 upstream gas project within the territorial waters of Sarawak as revealed by the reputable news agency Reuters are credible and ingenuous.
“Petronas had again denied that it is selling its stake but said that it is looking for a partner for its operation,” See said of the Petronas statement issued yesterday.
“Whether it is selling a portion of its stake or looking for a partner in the development of the oil and gas fields onshore or offshore of Sarawak, the rights and interests of Sarawak should not be overlooked. Sarawak should always be thought of as its associate and partner.”
See said since it involves a prized upstream gas project located in Sarawak, Petronas should have the courtesy to consult the state administration and that Sarawak be given the option to acquire the whole or part of the stake that it proposes to sell.
“And the state must make a judicious decision on the proposal. It is a common Sarawakian ambition to be an active participant in the development of the upstream oil and gas production projects, instead of being an idle bystander.”
He said Abang Johari is now presented with an opportunity to not only continue with the legacy of Adenan but he is in a position to build on the momentum and take the Sarawakian aspiration forward.
“This is in line with the CM’s vision in the setting up of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS). Investing and funding the state’s ownership and participation in upstream oil and gas production projects is strategic and it will spur the state’s socio-economic transformation catch-up plan devised by the state administration.”
See is also hopeful that State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who has been appointed as a member of the Petronas board of directors to represent Sarawak, will prepare a report to enlighten the Sarawak State Assembly on his accomplishments over the last six months.
“The prospect of investing and taking ownership of a stake in SK316 is certainly in line with the seven-point agreement reached between the state government with Petronas, whereby Petronas will help to facilitate Sarawak’s direct participation in Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) and to derive benefits therefrom.”
He also said that the state secretary should assist the state government to devise a holistic localisation plan whereby Sarawak will play the principal role in decision making, investment, human resource management and employment of Sarawakians in Petronas operation in Sarawak.
“I have no doubt that our present CM Datuk Amar Abang Johari has the same mantle as his predecessor in safeguarding and advancing the rights and interests of Sarawak. However, the government must be vigilant and firm in pursuing the agreement reached with Petronas, to ensure that the state administration is not bypassed, time and again, when decisions affecting Sarawak and our resources are made.”
Source : Jonathan Chia @ Borneo Post Online