Gabungan Sabah to intervene in Petronas suit

KOTA KINABALU, June 8, 2018: SABAH politicians are eager to intervene in Petronas’ suit to lay exclusive claim on the country's petroleum resources and to be the regulator of the upstream industry.

Sabah, a petroleum-rich state, stands to lose its rights if the national oil company wins in its suit, said Sabah Star president Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said that while Petronas was relying on the Petroleum Development Act 1974 as the point of its argument, this law was in fact “unconstitutional”.

“The act goes against the federal constitution, which accords the rights of natural resources to the respective states.

“If the state government does not act, Sabah stands to lose all its rights on the oil if Petronas wins its suit,”   he said during the Double Six Commemoration in Sembulan, Kota Kinabalu, today.

Petronas earlier this week filed an application before the Federal Court seeking a declaration that it is the exclusive owner of petroleum resources in Malaysia, including in Sarawak.

It is also seeking the apex court’s declaration that it is the regulator for the upstream industry throughout the country.

The hearing will be on June 12 in at the court in Putrajaya.

The move comes as Sarawak prepares to assume full regulatory authority over upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry in the state from next month through Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), a state-owned oil and gas exploration firm formed last year and officially launched in March.

Jeffrey said Gabungan Sabah aims to raise funds to engage lawyers to challenge Petronas’ bid.

He said that the state’s citizens, as stakeholders of Sabah’s natural resources, could take action if the state government did not.

Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee said a team of lawyers were already working on building a case against Petronas. - BP