Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill faces revision after Sarawak senators raise concerns over autonomy

Dato Ahmad Ibrahim

KUCHING, Dec 6: The Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) has postponed the second reading of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill 2023 in the Dewan Negara after eight Sarawak senators sought amendments to ensure the same rights are given to Sarawak as stipulated in the Energy Commission Act 2001 and the Electricity Supply Act 1990.

Senator Dato Ahmad Ibrahim said this request was made following their concerns that the law could be applied to Sarawak and does not give equal rights to the State as accorded in the Energy Commission Act 2001 and the federal Electricity Supply Act 1990.

“I have received information from the Speaker (Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar) that these two bills will be revised through the involvement of the NRECC with the Sarawak and Sabah governments.

“We welcome the postponement by the NRECC which took note of our concern towards the Bill relating to the autonomous power of Sarawak over electricity and sources of electricity available in the State,” he said in a statement today.

Ahmad emphasised that they found that the bill allowed the NRECC Minister to extend its use to Sarawak after a copy of the Bill was distributed to the members of the Dewan Negara.

This action, he said, is not in line with previous practice by the federal government such as the Energy Commission Act 2001 and the Electricity Supply Act 1990 where its use is deferred to the State of Sarawak.

“Since there is this inconsistency, we as the members of the Dewan Negara representing Sarawak have made an application to the Speaker to propose amendments to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill 2023 Electricity Supply (Amendment) Bill 2023 to ensure that the same rights are given to Sarawak as stipulated in the Energy Commission Act 2001 and the Electricity Supply Act 1990,” he elaborated.

Despite their concerns, Ahmad emphasised that he and the seven senators did not oppose the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill which was passed by Parliament on Oct 10 with aim to improve the efficiency of energy use in Malaysia.

“As senators from Sarawak and in upholding the principles of the Federal and Sarawak constitutions, we are responsible in our capacity to ensure that the rights of Sarawak must be defended so that there is no further erosion of power and rights whether intentional or unintentional,” he added.

Meanwhile, NRECC Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad tabled the Bill that, among others, sought to strengthen the legal framework related to energy efficiency and conservation practices to ensure full involvement at various levels.

He said the bill closely aligns with the energy transition initiative towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by energy-related sectors by 2050 and it is also one of the key initiatives under the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR). — DayakDaily