Sarawak to fortify oil & gas rights, says CM

Abang Johari – Picture from TheStar

By John Isaac

THE Sarawak government will announce next week a policy to tighten its grip on its rights to oil and gas in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said in Sarawak, oil and gas operators would be required to adhere to the state’s Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO).

“As long as they are our resources under the land, as far as I am concerned, they belong to Sarawakians. If anyone wants to take them, they need to get our permission first.

“There must be a licence issued by Sarawak and it is our right. As long as there is territorial power, we will defend it,” he said when officiating at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) special convention in Kuching as reported by the New Sarawak Tribune.

Abang Johari said with the recent announcement about a marine park in Bintulu being gazetted, it made other countries question Sarawak’s claim.

“They say it is their right but it is actually ours because there are valuable resources in the seabed. Therefore, we must defend our rights.

“God willing, in a week or so, I will announce a policy that strengthens our rights in this state,” he said.

On the role of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), Abang Johari said it was in the process of setting up a three-in-one fuelling station for petrol, electric car charging and hydrogen.

He also baulked at an opposition leader who questioned Sarawak’s decision to pursue hydrogen as the basis for its economy in the future.

“Of course, now the adoption of hydrogen vehicles is low as its price is high but in 15 years the price of the fuel will be lowered.

“This is just like the price of expensive mobile phones in the past and now smartphones are much affordable,” he said.