DPM: Decision to delegate partial power to JKR, DID of S’wak, Sabah by Jan 5

Fadillah (third left) and Ibrahim (second right) together with other Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) members enjoy a light moment with members of the public when presenting them with Christmas cookies today (Dec 24, 2022)

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Dec 24: Partial delegation of power to technical agencies like the Public Works Department (JKR) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) in Sarawak and Sabah is currently being finalised with the decision to be made by Jan 5 next year.

Revealing this, Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof however noted that the two Borneo states have in fact demanded for total empowerment of the technical agencies.

“However, there are some technicalities that needed to be sorted out at the Finance Ministry level especially.

“So we make it interim first so that at least a certain degree of jurisdiction can be handed over directly to JKR Sarawak, DID and other technical agencies identified,” he told reporters at an event to distribute Christmas cookies to the public at a commercial centre in Jalan Nanas here today.

Fadillah informed that handing over part of the empowerment of technical agencies to Sarawak and Sabah are among the seven matters under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which has been agreed in principle.

He also mentioned the one month period to resolve some of the claims under MA63 will be due on Jan 5, 2023.

“So by Jan 4, 2023 we will discuss (the finalised matters) in Cabinet.

“Currently, I have called for the technical committee under Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali and we are looking at what have been planned and the recommendations from the previous government, especially what was agreed upon,” he said.

Elaborating, Fadillah who is also Minister of Plantation and Commodities, said there are three matters being finalised with one has been settled through devolution of power while another one has been discussed with basic decision reached and one is still under discussion but yet to reach a decision.

He added that there is another matter outside of MA63 appealed by Sarawak and Sabah.

“We have identified the claim and now what needs to be done within the one month period is to get the final decision from the Cabinet as it was a matter which was agreed in principle previously by the MA63 Council chaired by Datuk Patinggi Ismail Sabri Yaakob,” he explained.

Of the matters to be resolved include handing over of regulatory power of gas resources to Sabah announced last week, which has already been done in Sarawak.

“There are other claims but I cannot reveal yet. We will let the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) announced them after the New Year (possible after the Cabinet meeting scheduled on Jan 4, 2023),” he said.

Fadillah reiterated that they also includes matters that will involve Constitution amendments which will take more time and unlikely to be resolved in one month’s period given the need to present them to the Parliament.

“This is to get a decision from all members of the House but the basic decision is already there.

“There are about seven matters which have been agreed in principle. We will inform the details later,” he added.

At the event, Fadillah and Satok assemblyman Datuk Ibrahim Baki went around the coffeeshop to greet members of the public and present them with Christmas cookies. — DayakDaily