KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is studying ways of emulating Sarawak in strengthening the state's regulatory control over its oil and gas resources.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said he will be instructing the state Attorney General to look into an already existing ordinance regarding Sabah's mineral sources.
"I will ask the AG to look into the details of the ordinance to determine if there is any information on that (the state's regulatory control over resources).
"If there is, then we will just reactivate it," he told reporters after attending the closing ceremony of the Malaysia Day forum organised by the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) on Monday (Sept 10).
Upko president and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said this was an issue close to the hearts of party members, and therefore was discussed at length during the forum.
He said Section 24 of the Land Ordinance gives Sabah power and authority over its resources.
According to the Ordinance, minerals in the land which include mineral oils and petroleum, are reserved for, and owned by the Sabah government, which is also empowered to control, deal and licence its exploration, exploitation and mining.
Tangau, who is also state Trade and Industry Minister, said Sabah's regulatory control over its resources can be boosted with the existence of a law similar to Sarawak's Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO).
The OMO stipulates that all oil and gas industry players in Sarawak, including Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), should comply with it.
Legal and appropriate action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the Ordinance, and this includes the upstream activities carried out by the oil and gas entities.