Councillor Karambir Singh
MIRI: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) should be more thoughtful before maintaining its stance of having exclusive ownership of the petroleum resources in Malaysia.
“It is indeed unfortunate that Petronas has chosen to disregard the Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958,” said an academician Councillor Karambir Singh, adding this shows total lack of respect towards Sarawak laws, something that Petronas should comply with.
“As a company that operates internationally, I am sure they comply with the laws in the countries where they operate in, and similarly, they (Petronas) should comply with the laws of Sarawak.
“The Sarawak government has been more than reasonable by giving oil and gas operators until end of 2019 to comply and in light of the latest statement from Petronas, Sarawak needs to be assertive and take steps to enforce the OMO 1958,” he said.
Another academician Ariffin Mohamad said although Sarawak had won in rejecting Petronas’ application for leave to contend in court over the legality of the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974, the issue on legality has not been decided yet.
“Since the matter is not final, both the Sarawak government and Petronas can legally file a case against each other, to a court which has the jurisdiction to hear matters pertaining to judicial interpretation.
“It is a very highly legal question. Although it is a leave application, it is very important for Sarawak and thus, it may be a big issue on Sarawak’s autonomous power and jurisdiction over its rights to minerals or petroleum (resources). In fact, it may cause a high impact on the federalism theory as well,” he said when contacted yesterday.