Oil royalty payment to Sabah: Six businessmen filed suit seeking declaration, agreement null and void26th September, 2012 KOTA KINABALU: Six Sabahans businessmen yesterday filed a suit at the High Court seeking declaration that the agreement pertaining to the five per cent oil royalty payment between Petroliam Nasional Berhad and the Sabah State Government in 1976 is ultra vires null and void.
The plaintiffs who filed the suit at the High Court’s registry through their counsel Marcel Jude Joseph named Petroliam Nasional Berhad as first defendant and Sabah State Government as second defendant.
Zainal Ajamain, Lahirul Latigu, Mohd Julpikar Ab Mijan, Joseph Wilfred, Duli
Dullie MariMarie and Michael Peter Govind @ Mick Goviind are also seeking a declaration that Petroleum Development Act 1974 insofar as it applies to the said agreement entered on June 14, 1976 is also ultra vires null and void.
They are also claiming damages, costs, statutory interest and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that both defendants entered the agreement after the Petroleum Development Act 1974 was passed.
The plaintiffs among others stressed that by the Petroleum Development Act, 1974, the entire ownership and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether lying onshore or offshore of Malaysia is vested in Petronas.
In return of this, they claimed it is agreed that Petronas shall make to the government cash payment in the form of yearly sum amounting to the equivalent of five per cent of the value of the petroleum won and saved from areas in Sabah and sold by Petronas or its agents or contractors during the period provided in Clause 2.
It is further agreed that the government waives any right to royalty or any other payment payable pursuant to any oil mining lease, license or agreement under the Land Ordinance of Sabah or any other written law relating to petroleum for the time being in force in Sabah.
They stressed that the agreement is null and void and ultra vires article 74 of the Federal Constitution and the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution which among others stated, except as to State rights over permits and licences, that the Federal Government has rights over development of mineral of mineral resources, mines, mining, minerals and mineral ores, oils and oil-fields, petroleum products, safety in mines, oilfields, gas and gasworks, production and distribution of power and energy.
Furthermore they claimed that the agreement is unenforceable by reason of the Petroleum Act 1974 being in contravention of Article 13 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia which states that no law shall provide for compulsory acquisition or the use of property without compensation.
The plaintiffs also said that the agreement was executed by the executive arm of the State Government of Sabah and has yet to receive the approval and consent of the State Legislative Assembly and is therefore ultra vires null and void.
They pointed out that the agreement is also ultra vires null and void as it is merely a vesting deed and to date there is no agreement or contract between the first and second defendants in regard to the sharing and exploitation of the onshore and offshore resources of petroleum belonging to the State of Sabah.
They further claimed that the vesting of the petroleum resources of Sabah under the said agreement by the second defendant into the hands of the first defendant by which is neither the executive or legislative part of the Federal Government of Malaysia but merely a company incorporated under the Company’s Act 1965 is ultra vires null and void.
Meanwhile, Zainal who is the group spokesman and calling themselves R for Sabah or Royalty for Sabah told reporters that it is illegal for the Federal Government to take any of the oil as it is belongs to the people of Sabah.
“It is illegal for the Federal Government to take any of our oil, all 100% of it belongs to the people of Sabah, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is very clear on this,” he said.He said the oil should be given back to Sabahans and let them decide as to how much should be given to the Federal Government.
He also said that similar suits will be filed in Kelantan, Terengganu and Sarawak.
I had written in my recent latest message for Malaysia day and I post later,