Thursday, May 6, 2010

Be Careful Whom You Select As Your Leader

Hantu Laut

Limbang in the pocket,oil rich blocks in the pocket.

Tell me how could someone be so stupid as to even consider sitting at a negotiating table for something already in the hands and under his full control?

Can a prime minister and his cabinet, without the approval of Parliament, dissolved sovereign rights over part of its territory, disputed or otherwise, to another country?

As a layman, not knowledgeable in constitutional law, I don't know, but I do know my common sense tells me it sounds not right.Something seriously amiss here.

Why was there no disclosure for a decision of such magnitude which deprived Malaysians in general and Sabah in particular of huge economic benefits?

Pak Lah only told half a story when he said Brunei has dropped the claim on Limbang which, sadly, was refuted by Brunei the next day making him looking like a fool.

Why was the surrender of the oil fields not mentioned before? Why were Pak Lah and the whole cabinet tight-lipped over the whole affair? Did Pak Lah bulldozes the thing through and presents it as a fait accompli to the cabinet giving them no choice but to endorse it?

The story only come to light when Murphy Oil have to make disclosure to the NYSE.

Did any member of the cabinet voice their objection to this rather unusual bilateral agreement that's more favourable to Brunei.If the area comes under Brunei why weren't they there first to stake a claim and start oil exploration?

Limbang should not be the subject of a claim.This territory was annexed during the times of the White Rajah and the sovereign right was reaffirmed when Sarawak was made a colony.Request by Brunei for return of the territory was rejected by the British on the ground that the people of Limbang do not want to be part of Brunei.Why Pak Lah and his cabinet members not bothered to look at the historical background is most puzzling.There shouldn't be any negotiation with Brunei on Limbang or the oil fields.

If Brunei can reclaim Limbang than the Philippines can reclaim Sabah and Thailand can reclaim some of the northern states of Peninsula Malaysia. It is absurd that based on disputed claim we caved in and gave away a goldmine.

What can Brunei do if we don't agree? Can they go to war with us? Will the British help them to go to war with us? These are pertinent questions we should ask ourselves before we sat at the round table.

We hold the trump card yet we lost.

We'll wait and see how Najib and the cabinet handle this very dicey issue.


eddy said...

Bro, like you, I am very, very disturbed by how laissez faire the former PM Abdullah handled the Blocks L and M/Limbang with Brunei. If its true that he gave away our territory disputed or non disputed without going through Parliament then it is incredulous stupidity bordering on treason.

How could Wisma Putra and I must say that Anifah Aman who seems to be very coy about the matter as well, just issue a short statement saying that under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS] which sets limits to various categories of territorial waters of coastal states, Brunei has sovereignty over the said Blocks.

Maybe the best person to explain this maritime territorial issue is the Attorney General with the help of the Malaysian Navy (Hydrographic Division) and shed light on the whole messy affair to explain in detail the Laws concerned, together with maps showing our Territorial waters and Continental Shelf Boundaries of the said waters in relations to Brunei and Malaysia's Sarawak and Sabah. It could be just possible that Block L and M even though we have overlapping claims on it with Brunei had all along been Brunei's Exclusive Economic Zone under the rules of UNCLOS. I do not know.

Again maybe its best to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the whole matter and to ensure God forbid that future Prime Ministers cannot easily sign Letters of Exchanges and agree to handover our territory whether its disputed or non disputed unless it is ratified by Malaysian Parliament first and then approved by the DYMM Agong.

Bro, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman went to Parliament to announce Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia, and that is the right and ethical way of a parliamentary democracy and Abdullah really have to explain to Malaysians why he has chosen to make the handover without going through Parliament as the Tunku did. Abdullah will be cursed for generations to come if he has done wrong.

Purple Haze said...

Some food for thought from Sin Chew :

Who should claim sovereignty over Limbang, sandwiched between Sarawak and Brunei? And who should stake claims on the two massive oil-rich blocks potentially worth RM320bn?

Or, like what Dr Mahathir has said former prime minister Tun Abdullah
exchanged the two offshore petroleum blocks with Brunei for relinquishing its claims on Limbang?

Or, Limbang and the oil-rich blocks are two separate issues that have
nothing to do with each other at all?

A check with the records shows that in mid-March 2009, three weeks before Abdullah left office, he went to Brunei for negotiations and signed the agreement.

Later Abdullah announced gleefully that Brunei had dropped its claims on Limbang.

He fell short of mentioning the oil blocks, let alone the exchange with
Limbang's sovereignty.

And the Brunei authorities instantly denied it had dropped its claims on Limbang.

How could the issue on territorial sovereignty and oil bounty, both of
tremendous national concerns, be trifled with?

Situated in between Brunei and Sarawak and about the size of the entire Brunei, Limbang has separated the oil rich country into two halves, and has some very unusual historical and strategic significance to the oil-rich kingdom.

Historically Limbang used to be a part of Brunei.

From 1884 to 1890, the Limbang people revolted against the Sultan of Brunei who forcibly quelled the uprising.

Raja Brooke, the White Rajah ruling Sarawak at that time, intervened and
annexed Limbang.

Failing to fight the White Rajah, the Brunei Sultan turned to the British government and requested that Limbang be returned to Brunei.

The British government sent people to investigate, and found that Limbang residents had gone against Brunei, and that Brunei was unable to administer the territory effectively. As a result, Britain decided that it was lawful for Sarawak to annex Limbang.

Since then Brunei has lost Limbang, and the country has since been separated into the eastern and western halves.

With Sarawak joining Malaysia later, Limbang has since become a part of Malaysia.

While we feel sorry that Brunei has lost its sovereignty over Limbang, there is nothing it can do from the legal perspectives.

As for the L and M blocks off the coasts of Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah on South China Sea, it is indeed hard to judge from the map to whom they should belong.

Both Malaysia and Brunei have claimed sovereignty over the area after it was found to have very rich oil deposits, and both countries have since appointed international oil companies for probing activities.

At the height of tension, the navies of both countries almost clashed in 2003.

Today, with the Malaysia-appointed US company Murphy now saying it has
withdrawn from probing activities as the blocks longer belong to Malaysia, coupled with Petronas' admission that the oil blocks do not belong to Malaysia, it is obvious that the country has now given up these two oil-rich blocks.

There are two doubtful points arising from Abdullah's actions several a year ago and Dr M's fresh accusations last week:

1. If Limbang does belong to Malaysia and there is no question about this, why exchange it with the two oil-rich blocks?

2. Malaysia used to claim sovereignty over the blocks, but then why did it later lose them?

3. Now that Malaysia no longer exercises sovereignty rights over the two blocks, will it still retain the benefits of exploration?

Mahathir did not put it too clearly; Abdullah did not elaborate on this, while Najib mumps over it.