PETROLEUM SARAWAK BERHAD INAUGURAL OFFICIAL LAUNCH
YAB DATUK PATINGGI (DR) ABANG HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN ZOHARI BIN TUN ABANG HAJI OPENG
RIGHT HONORABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK
PETROLEUM SARAWAK BERHAD INAUGURAL OFFICIAL LAUNCH SPEECH
6 MARCH 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen
Foremost, I wish to convey my warmest greetings to you all present here tonight, which includes players from the oil and gas sectors, the GLCs, corporations and everyone who come from near and far to be with us at the official launching of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS).
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today marks yet another milestone in the State’s Oil and Gas inclusion efforts and especially for Sarawak, simply because we have a new source to enable us to increase the depth of our state’s resources management model.
My State cabinet and I, are very happy indeed because we are taking the bull by the horns in our efforts to transform our State economy in order to leap frog to new heights. So this event tonight is a momentous occasion not only for Sarawak but also for Malaysia.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen
Let me begin by sharing a few words about the State of Sarawak’s humble journey in the Oil and Gas industry.
The Oil mining in Sarawak started on 22.12.1910 when the first oil well in Miri was commissioned. [Photo of the “old lady” in Miri]
In 1920, the Rajah issued what was known as “the Shell Concession Order” to designate the area in Miri for the exploration and mining of Oil by Sarawak Oilfield Limited – which was owned by Shell. [Copy of Order to be displayed]
Exploration for oil offshore Baram area took place in the 1930s by the Dutch and the British.
In 1952, the Sarawak Colonial Government issued an Oil Mining Lease, in the form of a Deed, to Sarawak Oilfields Limited with the liberties, rights and privileges to explore and mine all “the petroleum lying or within under or throughout the territory comprising the Colony of Sarawak including lands beneath all territorial waters….” [Map to be displayed].
In 1954, the Queen in Council passed the Sarawak (Alteration of Boundaries) Order to extend the boundaries of Sarawak to include the area being the seabed and its subsoil which lies beneath the high seas contiguous to the territorial waters of Sarawak. [Display the Order]
In 1958, Council Negeri passed the Oil Mining Ordinance to“make better provision in the law relating to oil mining in Sarawak and its Continental Shelf”. [Display long title of Ordinance].
Ladies and Gentlemen,
STATE’S RIGHTS TO OIL REMAIN INTACT AFTER MALAYSIA DAY
Therefore, before Malaysia Day (16 September, 1963), Sarawak already owned all the petroleum resources both onshore and offshore, in the Continental Shelf, and have complete control over the grant of prospecting, exploration and mining rights within the boundaries of Sarawak which by virtue of Article 2 of Federal Constitution cannot be altered without the approval of the Sarawak to be expressed by a law passed by the State Legislature. [Display Articles 1 and 2 of Federal Constitution].
On Malaysia Day, the State has the constitutional rights to issue prospecting licences, mining leases under Item 2(c) of the State List in Ninth Schedule of Federal Constitution which provides that “Land, including permits and licences for prospecting for mines; mining leases and certificates” are under the legislative authority of the State and therefore, by virtue of Article 80 within the executive authority of the State Government of Sarawak” [Display Item 2(c)]
Federal Government’s right under Item 8(j) of Federal List in Ninth Schedule is subject to Item 2(c) of State List. This means the Federal Government’s authority on oil and oilfields and the development of mineral resources, is subject to the State’s rights to grant mining rights for oil and natural gas within Sarawak. [Display Item 8(j)]
All laws passed by Parliament must not be inconsistent with Federal Constitution: Article 4 declares that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation. [Display Article 4]
Sarawak Oil Mining Ordinance was never repealed by any emergency laws promulgated when the 1969 Proclamation of Emergency was in force.
The 1969 Proclamation of Emergency was annulled in 2011. Thus, Sarawak is constitutionally entitled to enforce the Oil Mining Ordinance and assert our constitutional authority over the rights to mine oil and gas in Sarawak.
PRIME MINISTER’S ASSURANCE
The YAB Prime Minister has stated categorically that rights inadvertently taken away from the State (including that is, during the period of the said Emergency) will be given back to the State.
The State Cabinet has approved a Bill to amend the Oil Mining Ordinance to update its provisions and to provide better enforcement thereof. This Bill will be tabled at the next sitting of the State Legislative Assembly.
The State Legislative Assembly, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, has already passed the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016. This Ordinance will be brought into force on 1st July 2018.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen
COMPLIANCE WITH STATE LAWS
Ladies and Gentlemen
PETROS AND ITS ROLE
The Government incorporated Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (“PETROS”) to spearhead the State’s participation in the Oil and Gas sectors that are considered of strategic importance to the overall socio-economic development objectives of Sarawak.
PETROS will be granted rights to mine oil and natural gas in the State and be an important player in the upstream Oil and Gas industry. Initially, such a Licence has been issued and will be handed to PETROS in a little while during this ceremony.
Given the significant role of PETROS in Sarawak oil and gas sector, I believe, it is important for PETROS to be strong, effective and efficient in performing its mandated roles. To achieve these, the delegation of Oil and Gas regulatory and supervisory authority by the State to PETROS is mandatory.
With this in mind, PETROS must build on its strategic presence in Sarawak in order to grow and to deliver sustainable economic benefits via its business model, while at the same time safeguarding the interests of our State Government and its resources.
Accordingly, to ensure that PETROS performs its mandated roles in a prudent manner, PETROS is required to seek guidance from the Sarawak Government for broad policy direction in the execution of its strategic roles and responsibilities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In August last year, I appointed PETROS first Board of Directors. Early this year, I have appointed Datin Josephine Hilary Dom, as an additional board member.
Josephine is a respected individual in the field of finance and accounting has been around in the Malaysian corporate world for more than three decades now.
As I speak, PETROS already have a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is an experienced and professional individual in the Oil and Gas fraternity that will lead a competent and high integrity PETROS operational team.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to introduce here that Mr. SAUU KAKOK is officially the new CEO of PETROS. Sauu, a Bidayuh, spent almost 40 years of his career in the Oil and Gas industry. His last position was the Vice-President for Asia of a US-based independent Oil company.
PETROS is fortunate to gain Sauu’s experience, talent, and vision. I am confident that Sauu, is the right person to lead PETROS into the future, adding value to the careers of talented young Sarawakians while making PETROS the best place to work.
Like what I have said, Sarawakians indeed have a good pool of talents with the experience and expertise in Oil and Gas industry and their involvement will be further enhanced with participation in contracts and supply of services offered by PETROS. The State Government will issue guidelines to PETROS to ensure greater and more meaningful participation by Sarawakians and Sarawak companies in this sector.
Since 1975, Liquefied Natural Gas from Sarawak have been exported by PETRONAS and the revenues so derived have contributed tremendously to the national economy and the development of the Federation. By the exercise of our constitutional rights, the State Government is fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Sarawak that the additional revenues from Oil and Gas will accelerate industrial development and economic progress as to enable Malaysia as a whole to achieve a high income economy by the year 2030.
The State Government would like to see PETROS work alongside with PETRONAS both in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. Both Companies can contribute significantly towards the advancement of the Oil and Gas industry in Malaysia and the economic progress and prosperity of our Nation.
PETROS Chairman’s Text of Speech – Official Launch (6 March 2018)
Thank you Saudara Pengacara Majlis.
Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, serta
Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Patinggi Datuk Hajah Jumaani Tunku Bujang,
Yang Amat Berbahagia Datuk Patinggi, Datuk Patinggi serta Isteri,
Yang Berhormat-Yang Berhormat, Menteri-Menteri serta istiri, Yang Berhormat Setiausaha Kerjaan Negeri, Datuk Speaker, Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Puan Sri-Puan Sri, Datuk-Datuk, Datin-Datin, Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good evening and salam sejahtera to all of you.
I am extremely honoured to be standing here tonight, to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this historic and significant event: The Official Launching of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS) by our Chief Minister.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, allow me to record our appreciation of your presence here tonight. We are grateful and we consider this big turn up, as a show of strong support for PETROS. This is indeed, very comforting and an inspiration for us. But the butterfly is still in my stomach.
I do hope that you will not only enjoy tonight’s dinner, a bit of entertainment, and only a couple of speeches but that you will have good memories of this evening for one reason or another.
Hadirin yang saya hormati sekalian,
Let me take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate the Sarawak Government under the visionary leadership of Datuk Patinggi Abang Jo and his Cabinet Ministers for having the foresight and the courage to set up PETROS. I speak for the other board members too and our congratulations would probably be louder were we not board members of PETROS. We scale down our tone since we are directly involved.
Setting up PETROS needs a lot of courage especially given the present uncertain global situation of the oil and gas industry, driven by low oil price and the unpredictable American Presidential policies.
But as the saying goes “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. I think this is one statement we must be guided by to achieve our ambition.
Ambitious people say “The sky is the limit”. Today, China says “Even the sky is not the limit”.
China is now into quantum computers and quantum internet.
(In June the Chinese Space Agency plans to launch a lunar Space Mission to deliver a satellite that will guide a rocket in 2019 to the dark side of the moon, bearing a robotic lander vehicle. The satellite link is essential for relaying data from the rover back to earth.)
I am sharing this news just to give you a realisation of how and where we are and where we could be in the world today. I will not elaborate. I believe you all know what I mean.
However, having said that, PETROS is the best thing yet that has happened in Sarawak. A little late perhaps but better late than never. The State needs catalysts, not one, two, three, or even more to achieve and sustain the social and economic growth and development that the increasing population will require. Oil and Gas have to be one of these catalysts or engine of growth if you like. But this will not just be happened.
If I may quote JF Kennedy, “Things don’t happen. They are made to happen.” Sarawak is fortunate. We have someone making things happen! And PETROS certainly will stand behind him.
I want to humbly thank the Chief Minister, as they say – from the bottom of my heart, for having the confidence in the six of us: Datu Zuraimi Sabki, Dato Mohammad Medan Bin Abdullah, Encik Sharbini Bin Suhaili, Encik Heng Hock Cheng, Datin Josephine John and yours truly, as directors of PETROS.
I told a few friends that the only reason I am appointed is that Abang Jo is jealous of me…. Traveling around golfing. So he ties me to a job.
Jokes aside, YAB, we value your trust in us. It is a huge challenge. We have to be brave musketeers, combining our experience and expertise, especially as I said earlier when the global situation of the oil and gas industry is very volatile and uncertain for some unknown years to come.
It is even more challenging given the situation where the activities of oil and gas in Sarawak, although substantial and have been around for a while are controlled or monopolised not by the State itself.
Nevertheless, we are confident that soon, Sarawak will be in a position to exercise sufficient control over the activities of oil and gas in Sarawak so as to be able to fully support PETROS to operate as a major player and contributor in the development of the domestic oil and gas industry.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
PETROS’ vision is to be a major player in the exploitation and utilisation of energy resources in the State.
We see our role eventually as an active, fully integrated oil and gas operator across the value chain; upstream, midstream and downstream.
We also see PETROS as a catalyst for fuelling Sarawak’s growth by developing and utilising the State’s oil and gas resources domestically. We will explore opportunities for fully integrated petrochemical complex providing facilities and feedstock for domestic industries. It seems like there is more sense (and of course more Ringgit) in utilisation resources for downstream activities instead of exporting them as raw materials.
When all these happen, we believe PETROS will be providing opportunities for employment for our younger generation and building their skills and expertise to the next level.
I do hope that those in the oil and gas industry will not regard us a disruptive competitor. Instead, they should see us a facilitator and collaborator, a government-linked entity that wants and sees values in working together. We want to share and in doing so benefit Sarawak and Malaysia.
Like many other ventures, this gigantic task of making PETROS a success, cannot be achieved by us working in isolation. We need support from authorities and agencies. We will need partners for capital and partners for expertise. We plan to collaborate and work together with others within the industry.
I am pleased to say that in fact, positive responses have already been coming. A few proposals are in the pipeline.
PETROS first task, is, of course, building a team of competent and dedicated staff. Our CEO will join us in April 2018. By the end of the year, our essential and pivotal staff will be recruited and operating. The right mix of people will be a key factor in our success.
Finally, I want to thank all those people both from government and private sector who had already done a lot to help set up PETROS and creating an ecosystem that will enable PETROS to move ahead smoothly.
I want to thank the State Secretary, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidibin Abdul Ghani, who has been guiding and advising us and helped solved several irritating issues; the State Attorney General, Yang Arif Datuk Talat Mahmood bin Abdul Rashid and Legal Advisor, Datuk Seri JC Fong for sharing and unravelling the legal complexities of the relevant ordinances, the State Financial Secretary, Datuk Seri Ahmad Tarmizi bin Haji Sulaiman and Datu Laura Lee for the initial funding and registering the company, the Director of Lands and Survey, Encik Zaidi and his team for preparing our very first License, the Petroleum and Gas Unit of Chief Ministers office, under Dr. Muhammad Abdullah, with Siti, Niny and Iza for helping with administrative matters, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Ernst&Young for facilitating our first Brain Sailing Session and others who have shared their creative ideas privately with us, the humble board members.
I also must thank those who have worked hard despite short notices, to make the splendid preparations for tonight, the protocol office, the performers, even managers and the hotel staff. Thank you.
Let me conclude by sharing another quotation from JF Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them”. God willing we will, Inshallah.
Thank you. Assammualaikum.