State oil rights not cure-all for Sarawak

One of the many oil platforms off the coast of Miri, Sarawak.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Amid calls for greater autonomy, the federal government has devolved more powers to Sarawak, but the declaration on March 6 that the East Malaysia state has reclaimed full rights to prospect, mine and develop oil and gas has been the biggest announcement so far.

The reason is simple - with the rights, Sarawak now deals directly with the money, which is at the heart of decades-old angst felt by some Sarawakians and their neighbours in Sabah.

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