DPM Fadillah: 9 matters concerning MA63 resolved

Fadillah Yusof

By DayakDaily Team

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5: To date, nine demands concerning the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) have been fully resolved, says Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof.

According to a Bernama news report yesterday (March 4), among the matters resolved included granting authority over licensing and deep-sea fishing to the Sarawak and Sabah governments, recognition of the Public Works Department (JKR) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) of Sarawak and Sabah as Technical Departments under Treasury Directive 182 (AP182), and amendment of the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) Act 1995 to appoint representatives of the Sarawak and Sabah governments as permanent members of the board.

In addition, also fully resolved were the handover of administrative authority over Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Ligitan to the Sabah government and amendments to the Federal Constitution Articles 1(2) and 160(2).

“Besides that is the handing over of the power to regulate gas supply in Sabah, the administration of the judiciary in Sabah and Sarawak, provision of guidelines for the retransfer of land reserved for the Federation in the States of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the handover of electricity regulatory powers to the Sabah State government,” he said in a written reply published on the Parliament website yesterday.

The Petra Jaya MP was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (PN-Beluran), who asked about the current status of the implementation of Sabah’s rights stipulated in MA63, as well as the MA63 Action Council’s restructuring.

Partially resolved, said Fadillah, was a basic demand involving the review of the special grant for Sarawak and Sabah under Article 112D (RM300 million), while three demands have had policy decisions involving granting authority over the environment, labour in Sarawak and Sabah, and the appointment of a Judicial Commissioner (Amendment to the Federal Constitution).

Still under discussion are 14 demands, including oil royalty and cash payments for petroleum, oil minerals, and oil fields; the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (Act 750), State rights over continental shelves, and an increase in public service appointments in Sarawak and Sabah under Article 112 of the Federal Constitution.

Fadillah explained that the timeframe to resolve each matter is subject to the legislative process as complex legislation requiring detailed examination is involved, adding that Sarawak and Sabah’s readiness in terms of operations, human resources, and finances was also considered.

“MA63 demands that have not been resolved will be monitored and followed up by the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Division, Prime Minister’s Department (BHESS, JPM) as the Secretariat to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Action Council (MTPMA63) and the Technical Committee under MTPMA63.

“BHESS plays a role in monitoring the implementation and coordinating actions regarding any issue or decision at the federal ministry and agency level, as well as at the State government agency level in Sabah and Sarawak,” he was quoted as saying.

On the MA63 Action Council’s restructuring, Fadillah said it would be implemented in line with the Cabinet reshuffle on Dec 12, 2023, and would only involve changes in membership at the federal level.

He added that the proposed Technical Committee restructuring under MTPMA63 would not affect existing arrangements. — DayakDaily