A local political party has urged the state government to strongly oppose Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)’ application to the Federal Court for a declaration that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources and regulator for upstream activities in Malaysia, including Sarawak.
State Reform Party (Star) president Lina Soo claimed Petronas was using the application to avoid implementing the election manifesto of the Pakatan Harapan offer of 20 percent oil royalty in its so-called New Deal promise.
She maintained that Sarawak petroleum resources were safeguarded by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution.
“The federal government has breached both the Malaysia Agreement and Federal Constitution by seizing control of Sarawak oil and gas through the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the Territorial Sea Act 2012 which had not been constitutionally passed through our Sarawak state legislative assembly.
“The Petroleum Development Act should not be applicable to Sarawak because Article 160 Interpretation of the Federal Constitution stipulates that ‘The Federation’ means the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957,” she argued.
She further claimed the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 did not include Sarawak, as Sarawak was never a signatory to the Agreement.
"Article 160 remains effective and binding for the Federation of Malaya Agreement which established the Federation of Malaya in 1957 and not for the Federation of Malaysia which was established in 1963," she added.
Sarawak Assistant Minister of Law Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali in a press statement yesterday confirmed that the Sarawak government has been made a party in the suit.