Sarawak to implement O&G regulatory rights, says CM

By BERNAMA / Graphic By TMR

Beginning July 1, Sarawak will implement regulatory rights on oil and gas (O&G) activities in the state, said Chief Minister (CM) Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this following the Federal Court’s dismissal of Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government’s move to regulate the state’s petroleum activities.

Abang Johari said the state government’s move is in accordance with the law stipulated in the Federal Constitution that must be complied with by all parties.

“This means that some of the powers under the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO) will be implemented by Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd),” he added.

Abang Johari said this when asked to comment on the Federal Court’s decision, while attending the Nangka state constituency’s Aidilfitri gathering at the MUC Hall in Sibu on Saturday.

Last Friday, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop dismissed Petronas’ application after deciding that the Federal Court could not hear the matter, as the declaratory relief sought by the national oil company was not covered under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, but the High Court.

Abang Johari said only the Sarawak government had the rights to regulate the O&G activities from the point of law, as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

Asked if Petronas needed to apply for a permit or permission from Sarawak to be involved in O&G activities in the state hereafter, he replied: “What is happening now is that we have the state law that Petronas must abide to.”

Sarawak would not create a difficult environment or make abnormal conditions on the O&G industry in the state and would ensure that it would continue to run smoothly, he said.

Abang Johari said Sarawak’s next state legislative assembly sitting would table the bill to amend the OMO as some of the matters in the ordinance were no longer relevant with the current situation. — Bernama