Sabah Welcomes Federal Court’s Decision Over Petronas Challenge

SEPANGGAR: The Sabah state government welcomed the Federal Court’s dismissal of the Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas’) application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government’s move to regulate the state’s petroleum activities.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said any agreement between Petronas and the Sarawak and Sabah state governments should not overlook the rights of the two states as stipulated in the country’s constitution.

“The country’s constitution will remain unchanged. The rights of Sabah and Sarawak to locate resources in their respective states are clearly stipulated in the constitution.”

“If you want to change the constitution, it must pass through the Parliament,” he told reporters when met at the Aidilfitri open house of Sepanggar Member of Parliament Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman here Saturday.

On Friday, the Federal Court dismissed Petronas’ application after deciding that the Federal Court could not hear the matter because the relief declaration applied by the national oil company was not covered under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, but the High Court.

Meanwhile, at the same function, Datuk Shafie said a special committee will be set up to facilitate the property development approval process in Sabah.

He said the move would enable smooth running of the sector’s development as well as provide economic benefits to the state.

“Property approval will no longer be decided by the chief minister alone.

“The move is to encourage more investments and development in the property sector in Sabah,” he told reporters.

Datuk Shafie added further details on the setting up of the committee would be finalised soon.

Meanwhile, he urged developers of commercial properties such as shopping centres to offer affordable rental rates, so that more traders could open up stores in the area.

“If the rent is lowered, it would contribute to an increase in the number of customers at the premises which are likely to be fully occupied,” he said.