KUCHING, Sept 23 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today stressed that rights over carbon, as a commodity captured and stored in Sarawak, belongs to the state, not the federal government.
He said he has informed “friends at the federal side” of this right over carbon.
“This right is enshrined under the Federal Constitution, which means that I do not speak empty or make empty announcement in championing for the state’s rights under Article 95E of the Federal Constitution,” he said at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) southern zone special convention held in conjunction with the 60 years of Sarawak Independence this year.
He said this means that carbon is state’s rights as the Article relates to land matters.
“If we want to champion our rights, it should not be a half-hearted effort,” he said, stressing that anything to do with the land is the right of the state and should not be questioned.
He said carbon is placed under the Sarawak Land Code, saying that carbon belongs to the state.
“The federal government does not have the power over carbon. Its power is only on regulated trading with outside people under the international protocol.
“But the right to produce and store it belongs to Sarawak,” he said, adding that PBB must be prepared to defend the state’s rights.
Abang Johari said he also cannot accept that two of the proposed carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) centres to be placed in Peninsular Malaysia and one in Sarawak.
“How can this be? We have identified three sites in Sarawak,” he said.
He said when the federal cabinet held its meeting in Sarawak last week, he had asked Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Sarawak be represented in the Malaysian Energy Council that will formulate the national energy policy.
“How can Sarawak be left out of the council? That was why I was hot,” he said, adding that Sarawak should be represented in the council.
He said as leader he must fight for Sarawak, adding that future PBB leaders must also do the same.
He said there is nothing personnel in his championing for the state’s rights, but for the people’s interest.