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Sabah disputed the same as S'wak in report to PM
Published on: Thursday, March 08, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Just like Sarawak, Sabah also disputed the applicability of the Territorial Seas Act 2012 (Act 750) to Sabah, said Minister of Special Task Datuk Seri Teo Chee Kang.

"Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg has rightfully asserted territorial control over the State's continental shelf," said Teo in a statement, Wednesday. He said by virtue of Article 2 of the Federal Constitution, any law that would alter the boundaries of a State shall not be passed without the consent of the State (expressed by a law made by the Legislature of the State) and of the Conference of Rulers.

"Since there is no prior consent of the State expressed by an enactment passed in the Sabah Assembly, the Territorial Seas Act 2012 (Act 750) cannot be applicable to us. Therefore, our boundaries are defined by the pre-Malaysia law which includes our continental shelf."

He said the State Government thanked Prime Minister Datuk Sri Mohd Najib Abd Razak for his repeated assurances that rights under MA63 that were intentionally or unintentionally taken from Sabah would be given back to Sabah.

"In this respect, I am confident that in a brotherly spirit, what is accorded to Sarawak will also be accorded to Sabah.

Teo said, in fact, this particular issue was expressly raised in the State Rights Revision Committee report submitted to the Prime Minister in May 2017.

Teo also congratulated the Sarawak Government for the launch of their State-owned oil company, Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros).

"At this juncture, I would like to bring out the fact that with the vision and foresight of our Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman, the State Government acquired M3nergy Berhad via Sabah Development Bank way back in 2013.

"With that, our State Government already became an oil industry player. Upon a restructuring exercise, the relevant licence is now held under Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd (SIP) which has a lucrative contract for the lease of a Floating Production Storage & Offloading (FPSO) vessel to Petronas Carigali Ketapang 2 Ltd in their operation at Bukit Tua Field off North East Java.

"In addition, SIP also signed a production sharing contract with Sapura Kencana Bhd and Petronas which would eventually allow us to own up to 25 per cent share on land blocks known as SB331 and SB332 over Sandakan and Lahad Datu.

"We will continue to take the consultative approach in our pursuit for restoration of State rights under MA63.

"We are positive that there will be more good news for Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announced Tuesday that Sarawak will assume full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state by July this year.

He was quoted as saying that all persons and companies involved in the oil and gas industries in Sarawak, must henceforth, have the necessary licences, permits, leases and approvals required under either the Oil Mining Ordinance or the Gas Distribution Ordinance.

He was further quoted as saying the State Cabinet has approved a Bill to amend the Oil Mining Ordinance to update its provisions and to provide better enforcement.

He said Bill will be tabled at the next sitting of the State Legislative Assembly.

"The State Legislative Assembly, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, has already passed the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 which will be brought into force on July 1, 2018," Abang Johari said.

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