See: PKR supports move to reclaim state’s rights on O&G
KUCHING: Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) legislators will fully support any move by the state government to reclaim Sarawak’s constitutional authority over its oil and gas resources provided it follows the legislative process.
Vice chairman See Chee How said Sarawak PKR would back any effort to regulate all the exploration and mining of petroleum and other mineral resources in Sarawak and within the state’s territory as long as it is done in a manner that is constitutional, legal and lawful.
He said this is to make sure that all things are made right and that the players in the industry would not have any doubt on the state’s rights or whatsoever.
See, who is Batu Lintang assemblyman, said he attended the session where the state government had a briefing/ dialogue with the oil and gas industry players and entities explaining about the regulatory control and some adjustment that the state government would make under the Oil Mining Ordinance 1966.
He noted that the regulations were not there yet but the government said they expected to enforce it on July 1.
“To me the regulatory adjustment is quite revolutionary to the industry because they were talking about the payment of the fees, permits, licences, land rent for anybody, whether you are in the exploration, prospecting the mining of oil and gas/petroleum resources in Sarawak.
“They all have to comply and they have to pay all these fees. That is quite revolutionary in a sense because at the moment there is nothing to be charged by the state on these and now you are going to enforce all these on everybody involved in oil and gas industry in Sarawak,” he told a press conference at his service centre here yesterday.
To me the regulatory adjustment is quite revolutionary to the industry because they were talking about the payment of the fees, permits, licences, land rent for anybody, whether you are in the exploration, prospecting the mining of oil and gas/petroleum resources in Sarawak.
See noted that in the session, there was no mention of Territorial Sea Act ( TSA) 2012 while the Petroleum Development Act ( PDA) 1974 was not discussed.
He said not addressing the TSA would limit the state’s control to its territory to three nautical miles whereas actually the state’s territory extends to the whole economic exclusive zone ( EEZ) of at least 200 nautical miles.
He said under the PDA, all ownership and rights are vested in Petronas and the regulatory control of the whole industry – upstream and downstream – are all by Petronas.
“But the state government said from July 1 onwards any activity that has got anything to do with oil and gas, the players must apply to Petros, they have to be regulated by Petros, have to pay fees, rent, royalties and whatsoever as specified by Petros.
“If the provision and constraint of the TSA and the implication of the PDA is not discussed then how could the state assert the kind of regulatory control that it wants when Sarawak territory now is subjected to the TSA?” he said.
See believed it was very wrong for the state government to create a lot of doubts in all oil and gas industry players but said there was still time to put all the proposals to the Sarawak state assembly.
“Let all the legislators look through the whole thing, deliberate all the issues that should be deliberated – not to do in haste like now – whereby before you pass all these, you already said these to the players.
“You are saying the next state legislative assembly ( DUN) sitting will be in July but you are implementing things, which are not deliberated and passed in the DUN, on July 1,” he said.
See said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg cannot do things in that manner.
He said Abang Johari should not be worried that the opposition in the state might try to make it difficult for him in all these new changes and the regulatory adjustment that he wanted to make.
“You say you are going to amend this Mining Ordinance 1966 and try to get all this done. You don’t have to be worried because all the legislators, including those in PKR, are Sarawakians and they will make sure that whatever is deliberated and approved by the state assembly would be considered in the utmost and paramount interest of Sarawak and all Sarawakians.
“You don’t have to worry about this. Let it be deliberated in the DUN. I suggest the Chief Minister must advise the Head of State to call the next DUN sitting before July 1 to deliberate this new adjustment and to make sure that everything is done properly before it is implemented,” he suggested.
See said it was better for the Chief Minister to amend, incorporate all the regulations and pass the law first before enforcing the regulations on the industry players and entities,.
He stressed that Sarawak cannot enforce any regulation before it is passed at the DUN sitting because it is wrong.
Also present was national PKR vice president Voon Siak Ni.
See Chee How, state PKR vice chairman
See (second right), Voon (second left) and others at the press conference.