July 17, 2019
KOTA KINABALU:Sabah’s rich resources must be prioritised for use towards the prosperity of Sabah and benefit the people, and as a nation, Malaysia, benefits from taxes and vibrant economic dynamism.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Darell Ignatius Leiking said as he made it clear that he wears two hats, one as a Federal Miti Minister responsible for the whole country, and as a Sabahan politician.
Sabah and Sarawak need people who work for the good of the state instead of their pockets. Sabah has talents locally and overseas to be lured back, who can manage its rich natural resources well for future generations, he said.
Sabah has the talents but there is a need to create more job opportunities “to bring them back.”
An example cited was that 70 per cent of Sabah’s qualified welders work in Johor’s Pengarang and the state has no oil and gas resources, but for the desire to compete with Singapore’s oil and gas set up, a country without any oil and gas resources.
“I met a Sabahan doing well in the forefront of the oil and gas industry in Vietnam, flying back to Sabah every two weeks.”
“The biggest problem is that we do not exercise our inherent rights over our natural resources. Sabah must show its capability. Eventually, it is vital for us to take control of our own resources.”
Miti Minister Datuk Darell Leiking emphasised on this matter at the recent Sabah Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition 2019 as he explained why that Sabah attracted fewer investments compared to other states due to lack of infrastructure and cost-effective facilities, although having the best site, the best location.
An example he cited was the high land costs that put off investors compared to some other states that provide free land, including neighbouring Singapore where a lot of Sabahans are working. This is besides issues of electricity, water, manpower, infrastructure connectivity, etc.
Another is how Petronas has control over Sabah’s oil and gas resources with the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (Act 144). Darell also acknowledged that there are talented Sabahans working in Petronas.
He opined that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 contradicts the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Sabah Land Ordinance that the State has full power over land matters, with this matter under discussion as Petronas cannot embrace what Sabah and Sarawak want, and that when it’s time, East Malaysia would take over control of its natural resources including oil and gas.
Act 144 was an Act of Parliament to provide for exploration and exploitation of petroleum whether onshore or offshore by a Corporation in which will be vested the entire ownership in and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges in respect of the said petroleum, and to control the carrying on of downstream activities and development relating to petroleum and its products; to provide for the establishment of a Corporation under the Companies Act 1965 [Act 125] or under the law relating to the incorporation of companies and for the powers of that Corporation; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The company established was Petronas or the National Petroleum Company of Malaysia.
The entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether onshore or offshore of Malaysia shall be vested in Petronas incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 enjoying the ownership, rights, powers, liberties and privileges and that the ownership and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges so vested shall be irrevocable and shall endure for the benefit of Petronas and its successor.
“It’s time that Sabah and Sarawak manage our own assets and still pay taxes to share the prosperity with the rest of the nation, with 40 per cent to be returned for Sabah government.”
“Sabah will not be left out on investments. Sabah deserves a change,” he said of the difficulty in getting gas supply of 90 million SCFD promised earlier, what more 250 million SCFD as he addressed the CEO of Sabah International Petroleum Seeto Yee.
“What are we going to do next?”
“Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir understands the people of Sabah and Sarawak from whom he has heard so much from.
He supports Malaysia Agreement 1963 and had heard much from the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak, and the four East Malaysians in the Federal Cabinet.”
“We have to go all the way,” Darell stressed, as he said will continue to help local companies in the oil and gas industry.
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