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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bumburing asks if Petronas operating illegally

KOTA KINABALU - The State Legislative Assembly has been urged to seriously consider the question as to whether Petronas is legally operating in Sabah waters since laws that were enacted during the Emergency, which has since been lifted, are now annulled and no longer applicable to the State.

Tamparuli Assemblyman Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing (pic), when highlighting the matter, said as such the national oil and gas company has no right to operate in the territorial waters as they now belong to the State.

"Since the lifting of the Emergency, all laws which were enacted, the gazettes and agreements made between Sabah and the Federal Government undertaken during the Emergency are annulled and no longer applicable to Sabah."

"This august house should be considering the pertinent question as to whether Petronas is legally operating in Sabah or not," he said when debating the Head of State's policy speech at the State Assembly, Tuesday.

He pointed out that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, in his reply to the written question by Kepayan Assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi in 2014, had stated that Sabah Continental Shelf had been owned back by Sabah.

Musa he said confirmed that pursuant to Article 150 (7) of the Federal Constitution, all amendments made to the Continental Shelf Act 1966 (Act 83) and the Petroleum Mining Act 1966 (Act 95) will cease to have effect within six months of the lifting of the Emergency. The Proclamation of Emergency under Article 150 made on May 15 1969 has been lifted by Parliament and the House of Senate on November 24, 2011 and December 20, 2011 respectively.

Bumburing said this includes the Continental Shelf Act 1966, the Petroleum Mining Act 1966 and the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No 7, 1969.

"One very important agreement that should have been nullified by the lifting of the Emergency is the Petronas Agreement between Sabah Government and Petronas signed on June 14, 1976. However, to date, Petronas is still operating the territorial waters that now belong to Sabah. We want to know why and under whose authority they are operating," he added.

He also said that to say the Chief Minister was able to secure 25 per cent share or royalty for oil and gas as reported recently did not arise.

"We are no longer talking about five per cent or 25 per cent as all the oil and gas now belong to Sabah," he insisted.

In addition, he pointed out that Article 2 of the Federal Constitution clearly states that any law altering the boundaries of the State shall not be passed without consent of the State through the passing of a law in the State Legislative Assembly and the Conference of Rulers.

"This is also the most important reason why this government should be seriously looking into the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 as what belongs to Sabah is guaranteed under the agreement," he said.

On the demolition of villagers' houses in Kg Bobotong, Bumburing proposed the village to be excised from the forest reserve since the villagers have occupied the area for almost four decades.

Questioning Sabah Forestry Department's manner in executing the demolition, he argued that villagers have been receiving all kinds of government allocations such as a community hall, water supply, graveled roads, cemetery, church, public toilets among others.

In 1983 he said the Kinabatangan District Office instructed the community to form their Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) so that government allocations could be easily channeled.

"All these have sent the message to them that their occupation in the area was approved by the government," said Bumburing. - Leonard Alaza

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