Najib: M'sia, Brunei border talks will lead to a win-win solution

SIBU, May 2, 2010: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is confident that talks to resolve sea and land boundary issues between Malaysia and Brunei will result in a win-win solution for both countries.

He said that both countries were negotiating the matter as a package, covering all aspects, including the role that Petronas could play with regard to exploration and development, and investment opportunities for Brunei corporations in Malaysia.

"The Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has always said he wanted to see a solution which is based on a mutually-beneficial formula," he said.

The prime minister was speaking to reporters after attending a luncheon and presenting Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medals to 32 armed forces veterans from Sarawak at Rascom Camp at the Ninth Infantry Brigade in Jalan Ulu Oya, near here Sunday.

He said that both countries reached an in-principle agreement on the issue last year and that both countries were now looking at the matter in terms of demarcation surveys that would be done in a manner that would benefit both countries. Najib was asked to comment on the statement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, questioning in a blog posting on Thursday why two oil-rich blocks no longer belonged to Malaysia and said that the loss could cost the country at least US$100bil (RM320bil).

Dr Mahathir claimed that his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had surrendered the two blocks to Brunei in exchange for Limbang.

Abdullah, who signed an Exchange of Letters between both countries last year, clarified that the land and sea agreement with Brunei was approved by the Malaysian cabinet and that Malaysia would be allowed to participate in joint development of oil and gas on commercial basis in the two areas for a period of 40 years.

The national oil corporation, Petronas, said Saturday that it had been invited by Brunei to develop two offshore exploration areas formerly designated as Blocks L and M on a commercial arrangement basis.

Petronas said it had set up a team and had begun negotiations with Brunei to work out the terms for the development of the two blocks now known as Blocks CA1 and CA2. - Bernama