By Adrian Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10: The federal government will form a new special council to further discuss oil royalties, cash payments for petroleum, oil minerals, oil fields, Territorial Sea Act 2012 and continental shelf rights in Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib said the special council will be chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin with its members including Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the Sabah Chief Minister.
“Based on the status of the implementation of the 17 issues out of the 21 issues in MA63 presented by the special Cabinet committee, in general, the agencies which are responsible are estimated to require one to two years’ time to implement the decisions.
“As for the remaining four issues which are yet to be settled such as oil royalties, cash payment for petroleum, oil minerals and oil fields, the Territorial Sea Act 2012 (Act 750) and the Continental Shelf Act 1996 (Act 83), the discussion will be continued through a special council which will be established later,” Hanifah revealed in response to a question from Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
Rohani had asked the federal government about efforts to establish a special council in order to continue discussions to seek a commercial solution to Sarawak’s oil and gas claims in Parliament today.
Hanifah added members of the special council will also include appointed cabinet ministers and representatives from the federal government, and Sarawak and Sabah state governments.
She explained that a joint committee had been established between the federal government and the Sarawak government to discuss oil and gas and special payment matters.
The joint committee was co-chaired by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Senior Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to discuss these issues together with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and the Sarawak government to reach a commercial settlement.
Hanifah disclosed discussions over a commercial settlement with the Sabah government will be carried out next.
Earlier, she revealed the federal government was finalising the composition of a special Cabinet committee to study the implementation of MA63 that will be brought to the Cabinet for consideration in the near future.
On another note, Hanifah said that there was no need for a parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the implementation of MA63 to be set up.
She explained that the establishment of the special Cabinet committee is adequate at the moment to monitor and oversee the implementation of the MA63. — DayakDaily