"Petronas is subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister "who may from time to time issue such direction as he may deem fit" (Section 3 (2) of the Act). This is the Petronas, vested with the powers and authority of Parliament by virtue of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the Prime Minister, over offshore petroleum development in Malaysia, that awarded the 3 million acres in Block L and M to Murphy Sabah Oil Co. Ltd. on or before 16 Jan. 2003.
"Petronas and the Prime Minister at the time (Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed) have seen it fit, proper and legal to award the said maritime territory to Murphy Oil, an American company. All these point to the fact that, in the legal opinion of Petronas and the federal government at the time, Malaysia has sovereign rights over the maritime territory contained in Blocks L and M. The Deputy Prime Minister at the time was Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This is against the backdrop of Malaysia having won the Sipadan/Ligitan case at the International Court of Justice the month before (December 2002).
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"This announcement was picked up by The Edge, a Malaysian business paper, on 22 April 2010. The Brunei Times triumphantly reported this on April 23. This was an issue waiting to explode. Ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, who must have been irked by the loss of national territory and Petronas profits, at his blog lambasted another ex-PM, Tun Abdullah Badawi for this loss. Tun Dr. Mahathir's anger is understandable because it was during his tenure as PM that Blocks L and M were awarded to Murphy Oil Corporation. He said that these blocks are Malaysian territory.
"Tun Abdullah Badawi later (1 May 2010) defended the loss of the oil blocks by claiming that Petronas is given a 40-year commercial right to operate the same oil blocks but under Brunei sovereignty. Wisma Putra on 4 May 2010 exposes this sell out of maritime territory in return for Petronas's commercial operations in Brunei.
"Some questions that the government should answer are:
1. Negotiations over territorial disputes in the South China Sea are alive and active. Where was the pressing need for Malaysia to surrender any territory to any country just three weeks before a change of Prime Minister?
2.The surrender of blocks L and M was kept a national secret until the Murphy Oil announcement on 22 April 2010 in the New York. Why did our government and Petronas keep this secret?
3. If the areas in blocks L and M were Brunei's sovereign rights in the first place, the why did Malaysia award the blocks to Murphy Oil in 2003?
4. In March 2009, the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi chose to announce only that Brunei has dropped the Limbang Claim but remained silent on the loss of Blocks L and M. If Brunei already owned Blocks L and M, then why was there a need for an Exchange of Letters between Tun Abdullah and the Sultan of Brunei? Has treason been committed?
5. Why was the need for the Sabah Cabinet to be briefed twice? If the oil blocks do not belong to Malaysia in the first place, what was the need to brief the State Cabinet?
6. Kelantan and Trengganu are fiercely fighting for their rights to oil revenues. Trengganu, a BN-UMNO State, still has unfinished litigation with Petronas and the Federal Government over oil royalties. Why should Sabah, a BN fixed deposit state, choose instead to defend the blunder of losing territory and oil revenues? Tengku Razaleigh, a Kelantanese BN MP heads the Parliamentary caucus on oil royalties. Why are our Sabahan BN MPs, like Marcus, unwilling join the fight for Sabah?
"As for sovereign rights, the Article IV of the Malaysia Agreement of 9 July 1963 transferred sovereignty over Sabah (then North Borneo) from London to Kuala Lumpur. Prior to 1963, Kuala Lumpur did not possess any territorial sovereign rights east of Johore. Malaysia as a nation then acquired all territories that came with Sabah by way of legal title or historic right or treaties or effective control. The Sipidan/Ligitan islands case at the ICJ is clear on this point. By definition (Article 1 of the federal constitution) Malaysia's territory consists of the territories of all the States of Malaysia as at 1963 (minus Singapore after 1965). Sabah, like other states, was not carved out of a larger country Malaysia. Instead, Sabah, together with other states, formed Malaysia.
"International conventions, be it on continental shelf, Law of the Sea and the 200 nautical mile EEZ limit affecting Sabah do not nullify the historical fact that Malaysia acquired these maritime territories with the entry of Sabah into Malaysia. It is the duty of Malaysia to protect the sovereignty of these areas over which Sabah has an interests. For instance, would Sabah not have a say if the Malaysia government were to cede Labuan FT to a foreign country?
"Sabah has lost enough. If the BN State Government fights for Sabah's rights and interests, then the people will support the government. But if the government fails, the people will speak through the ballot boxes. Then, no quantity of money politics, phantom votes or coercion will be able to save this BN government," Yong said.