Published on: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Commenting on the public debate between Tan Sri Harris Salleh and Datuk Yong Teck Lee at the Sabah Golf and Country Club on Friday night, he said the "explanation" of Harris was that he had no choice but to sign the 1976 Oil Agreement with Petronas and receive five per cent cash payment for Sabah's oil as the Federal Government had stated that Sabah's oil found offshore belonged to the Federal Government and signing and getting five per cent was better than getting nothing at all.
Harris also stated that it was the Federal Government that prepared the Oil Agreement and he was under pressure to sign it partly to rescue the Sabah Government, which was left with RM2 million in its kitty.
Jeffrey claimed this re-affirmed the recent revelations by Tan Sri Majid Khan of the "lies" by Federal leaders in the 1970s that oil found off Sabah belonged to the Federal Government and that it was up to the present-day Sabahans to take the matter to court.
Harris' statement was made in the presence of the 300-strong crowd and the team of Special Branch officers who had recorded everything diligently.
"It is very apparent that the Federal leaders' assertion that Sabah's oil found offshore belonged to the Federal Government is false.
"Since 1954 the international boundary of Sabah (North Borneo then) was extended to include the area of the continental shelf which remained unchanged until Malaysia Day on Sept16, 1963," he said.
Sabah's international boundary is acknowledged in Article 1(3) of the Federal Constitution which provides that:
1. (3) Subject to Clause (4), the territories of each of the States mentioned in Clause (2) are the territories comprised therein immediately before Malaysia Day.
This Sabah international boundary is even recognised today in the government official website: http://www.townplanning.sabah.gov.my/iczm/Reports/Coastal.
Pursuant to Section 24 of the Sabah Land Ordinance (Cap. 68), it is also clear that from December 1930, the oil and gas found on-shore or off-shore of Sabah belonged to Sabah.
"Anyone that does not accept this fact and truth ought to take lessons in law," said Dr Jeffrey.
"Whatever mistakes of the past should be learnt and steps should be taken to rectify the past mistakes," he said.
In owning up to Sabah's predicament on Sabah's oil, Harris unequivocally advised that it was up to the Sabah lawmakers to make amends and raise the issue in Parliament to re-claim Sabah's oil.
Harris further added that he was certain that if the matter was raised and reasonable, the Federal Government would agree to Sabah's demands.
The idea was supported whole-heartedly by Yong who then advised that due to the changes of the times and circumstances, the Federal Government was at its weakest and Sabah lawmakers as "kingmakers" should leverage on this and use the "window of opportunity" to demand for Sabah's oil and other rights.
For the future and benefit of each and every Sabahan, it has now become the legal duty and moral obligation of the Sabah government and each and every Sabah MP to take every available step to regain Sabah's oil and gas ownership.
The Sabah Government needs to raise with the federal government the issue of Petronas returning Sabah's oil and gas ownership and the Sabah MPs need to raise the matter in Parliament.
If they wish to take it further, they should get the Petronas Twin Towers renamed as the Petronas Sabah Sarawak Twin Towers.