Sarawak to regain coastal rights to set up own enforcement to stop all encroachments

Abang Johari addressing a point during his speech.

MUKAH, Oct 1:  The Sarawak government is seeking to regain State’s full rights over its coastal and riverine fishery to allow the setting up its own marine enforcement to stop all encroachment.

According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this can be done by making necessary amendments to Sarawak’s law while upholding the Federal Constitution. 

He stressed that this needed to be done to stop all encroachments as well as manage her own fishing industry.

“Under the Federal Constitution, coastal and riverine fishing are our state rights and it is our control. I have asked our lawyers to look into this law and make amendments (on the State’s law).

“Soon we will manage our fishing industry and stop all these encroachments. We must protect our rights and our people,” said Abang Johari at the launch of the Artificial Reef Ball programme here today.

The existing law that governed coastal and riverine fishing in Sarawak’s rivers and coastal waters is the State Fisheries Ordinance (2003). 

However, Abang Johari believed that the proposed amendment will not be ready in time for the November Sarawak Legislative Assembly session.

“We will see if we can change it in April next year. We will implement this as soon as we can amend the policy,” he said.

Abang Johari who is Resource Planning and Environment Minister added that Sarawak will have her own enforcement, just like having their own marine police to look after the coastal areas.

Foreign encroachments into Sarawak’s waters is a long standing issue.  Local fishermen and fisherman NGOs have been making multiple reports to relevant enforcement authorities but the problem persists. — DayakDaily