KUCHING – The Sarawak government must reclaim the state’s continental shelf which was taken by Putrajaya, Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) civil movement leader Peter John Jaban said today.

The group said the state government must bring the matter to Parliament, following the enactment of the Continental Shelf Act 1966 and the Territorial Sea Act 2012.

This comes one of the recently declassified British colonial government’s documents confirmed that Sarawak owned the natural resources in the seabeds and subsoils in the continental shelf within the state’s boundaries.

“Reclaiming the continental shelf must be accorded a high priority by the state government before we lose all our oil and gas resources to Petronas,” he told reporters, referring to the government-owned firm.

He was responding to the success of the state legal team’s trip to London to retrieve documents from the British National Archives and from the Commonwealth Library and Archive at Marlborough House in London.

The documents which were stamped “secret” or “confidential” when Sarawak was under the British colony from 1946 to 1963 were recently declassified by the British government.

Sarawak For Sarawakians (S4S) civil movement leader Peter John Jaban wants reclaiming continental shelf given a high priority

Sarawak has earlier this week said the recently declassified documents found by the state legal team in London will add strength to its position in the discussions with Putrajaya on the matter of state autonomy.

Jaban noted that one of the most important documents taken back by the legal team was the Sarawak (Alteration of Boundaries) Order 1954 made by the Queen in Council for the determination of the boundaries of Sarawak’s land, sea, and continental shelf limits prior to Malaysia Day.

“Therefore, I urge the state government to take a step further by taking the continental shelf issue to Parliament,” he said, adding the state government must now go beyond the political sphere and seriously consider legal redress as an option in this particular matter.

He said it is encouraging to see that focus is being placed on the state’s legal rights to its oil and gas revenues and the boundaries of its continental shelf.

– Malay Mail