Friday, August 5, 2016

See urges repeal of Territorial Sea Act

KUCHING: The right approach to compel Putrajaya to stop its unfair and unjust treatment of Sarawak is to repeal or amend the Territorial Sea Act 2012, says Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.

See made this strong call to the state government to re-open negotiations on the federal and state relationship in the light of national corporations such as Petronas ignoring the rights and interests of Sarawakians.

“The impertinence of the national corporation such as Petronas in ignoring the rights and interests of Sarawakians, and the federal government shortchanging Sarawak on our annual federal allocations will cease, if all Sarawakians are determined to put in a concerted effort to seize on the opportunity to safeguard the state’s territorial boundary and all our natural resources in our land,” said See.

On Wednesday, Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) president Hamin Yusuf revealed that majority of senior jobs in Petronas are filled by non-Sarawakians.

Hamin said only 39 per cent of management positions and 46 per cent of middle management positions in the national oil and gas company operations in the state are filled by Sarawakians.

See, who is also the state PKR vice chairman, said the state government must quickly make its strong representation to the federal government to amend section 3(3) and section 4 of the Territorial Sea Act 2012.

“This has been pledged by the Chief Minister in his winding-up speech in the last Sarawak State Assembly on June 15 to bring the federal government to the negotiation table.

“If necessary, the state government should seek judicial intervention to declare those provisions or the whole of the 2012 enactment on our territorial rights to be unconstitutional, to stop the unfair treatments of the BN federal government on Sarawak,” said See.

See said the state’s immigration autonomy which includes the control of work permit for non-Sarawakians to work in the state is a farce.

“With the erosion of our state rights over the last 53 years, it appears that we are unable to protect and safeguard the employment opportunities for our very own Sarawakians. The state’s immigration autonomy is a farce.

“The state government had also revealed that it has developed a regulatory framework based upon the state laws for Petronas and its contractors to abide by in regards to their operations and activities within the territorial boundary of Sarawak. As it is, the trans-national corporation appears unfazed and undaunted,” See added.

See said the state has done enough on the diplomatic approach and now is the time to take our rights seriously.

“Enough of the state government taking the diplomatic approach to negotiate. It is time to take our rights seriously.

“By immediately seeking for the amendment of the provisions in the Territorial Sea Act 2012 to safeguard the integrity of Sarawak’s territorial boundary will mean our control over all the resources.

“Only then will the federal government give us the respect and come to negotiate with us on the State’s rights and interests, under the Malaysia Agreement and expedite the process of devolution of powers to Sarawak and Sabah.”

The provisions of the Territorial Sea Act 2012 [Act 750] which was enacted by Parliament and came into effect on June 22, 2012 had altered and affected the state’s control over its territory.

~ Borneo Post

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