Hornbill Unleashed

April 24, 2017

See: Give CM time to explain his pursuit of Sarawak’s rights

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How says the Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg should be given ample time to answers questions on how he will pursue more sovereign rights for Sarawak.

The chief minister is expected to answer questions on the issue at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting next month.

“May 22 will be the final day of DUN sitting, which will be the winding-up for him (Abang Johari). So let’s hear from him on that day because (so far) he has not covered anything on Territorial Sea Act (TSA) 2012 and not much on Petronas and other issues.

“I’m sure a lot of ADUNs (assemblymen) are going to ask a lot of questions, which he (Abang Johari) said he would give an answer at the coming DUN session. So let’s give him until May 22,” he said when met by reporters after the ‘Sarawak Rights’ forum at Kenyalang Theatre here yesterday.

See, also Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sarawak vice chairman, was the first speaker at the forum which began after 10.30am after a moment of silence to honour former Chief Minister the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who had fought for Sarawak’s rights during his tenure.

The forum was jointly organised by Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S), Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) and Kuching Traditional Handicraft Society.

See centred his talk on territorial sovereignty and rights to resources by pointing out that the state government should follow up with Putrajaya on the strong representation made by the late Adenan’s former administration to the federal government regarding the unconstitutionality of the TSA 2012 and to amend Section 3(3) and Section 4 of the said Act.

He said it was enshrined under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that every state had the right to establish the breadth of the territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles.

Under the TSA 2012, Sarawak could claim rights not exceeding three nautical miles measured from the low-water line, he said.

According to See, only two countries in this world – Jordan and Palau (officially the Republic of Palau) – accept the claim of three nautical miles.

“For Jordan, they don’t have the sea so they do not mind the three nautical miles. Palau is a formal colonial of the United States and achieved independence in 1994. It’s a country formed by a few islands.” Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean.

He added: “TSA must go because it is unconstitutional.”

He opined that it made no sense for Abang Johari to concur with Petronas that the national petroleum corporation could not afford to pay more oil and gas royalty (from the current five per cent to 20 per cent requested) to Sarawak. See pointed out that Petronas registered at least RM20 billion worth of profit after tax while the entire Sarawak’s reserve was only RM29 billion.

“But in one year, Petronas can make about RM20 billion. They can afford it, so they should not say that they cannot afford it because of the falling oil prices.”

Petronas’ profit after tax had grown 12 per cent to RM23.5 billion last year from RM20.9 billion in 2015, he added.

“Dividends alone, Petronas had paid to the federal government a total of RM671 billion for the 42 years since its incorporation. This is besides the estimated RM500 billion in taxes, royalties and export duties, together with RM200 billion in gas subsidy.

“Needless to say, Sarawak is the biggest contributor in terms of oil and gas production and petroleum revenue earning for the country. But Sarawak’s revenue earning from the oil and gas production was only a small fraction of that of the country, being just the diminutive royalty.”

Based on the financial reports of Petronas, See said the petroleum corporation had proven itself to be very resilient and could definitely afford the 20 per cent oil and gas royalty requested by Sarawak.

“They are making billions of profits but we are getting RM1.8 billion the most from Petronas. You see the disparity.”

As such, he said the state government must vigilantly pursue the demand for 20 per cent oil and gas royalty apart from seeing to it that Sarawak would actively participate in the oil and gas industry. He said a body such as a state sovereign wealth fund ought to be set up to undertake upstream and downstream oil and gas projects in the state.

He believed that Sarawak had the right capable persons to deliver the job if Putrajaya and Petronas were willing to allow the state active participation in the oil and gas industry.

“Onshore and offshore, Sarawak has been demarcated into 48 blocks or fields of oil and gas potentials. Production sharing contracts (PSC) had been awarded over 27 of these fields and 13 others are presently being vigorously promoted this year and the last.

“It is imperative for us to revivify Sarawak’s sovereign rights to this valuable natural resource, to assert our autonomy and authority over the remaining blocks and fields of oil and gas potentials yet to be awarded with PSC,” he added.

Source : Lim How Pim @ Borneo Post Online



1 Comment »

  1. 1. He said not easy to negotiate for higher oil-royalty. I said demand for 80% and take it or leave it.

    2. Direct shipment of goods to Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri ports … if still not easy … then better step down and resign

    Comment by tigeryk — April 25, 2017 @ 3:09 PM | Reply

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