Warisan state gov't moves towards restoring Sabah's rights

SANDAKAN, June 7 (Bernama) -- Warisan has initiated a number of changes in less than 100 days after taking over the state government towards restoring Sabah´s rights.

One of the measures is the ban on export of timber, which would create job opportunities in the downstream sector, according to Warisan permanent chairman Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

He said the state government led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was also moving towards protecting Sabah's rights in oil and gas and in maritime resources.

In this respect, he said, matters to be addressed included those found in federal legislation such as the Fisheries Act, Continental Shelf Act, Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance and the Territorial Sea Act.

"Warisan is consistent with its election manifesto and will fulfil the pledges made. For a start, as I have said before, we in Sabah are in control of our own affairs unlike the previous Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

"I urge the people in Sabah not to be easily misled by some former defeated BN leaders who are out to create discord and distrust between the people and the very young Warisan-led government," Liew who is also Batu Sapi member of parliament said in a statement today.

On Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas)´ suit over petroleum resources ownership in which the Sarawak state government was named as respondent, Liew said Sabah's position was different from Sarawak's as Sabah needed to emphasise on its own special rights.

"This will require Sabah to bring up the issue of exchange of blocks L and M with Brunei Darussalam, which Sarawak does not have, " he said, adding, there was also the issue of overlapping oil fields with Indonesia in Sabah waters, which were being operated by Petronas.

He said Sabah must also address the environmental issues in case of oil spills. Unlike Sarawak, Sabah does not have a law to deal with such incidents.

"I have no doubt the Sabah State Attorney-General will look into the Petronas suit in the Federal Court closely and will advise the Warisan-led government on the proper course of action," he said.