Sharifah Hasidah: Negotiations to return more of Sarawak’s rights under MA63 ongoing

Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali

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KUCHING, April 7: Negotiations to give Sarawak devolution of power under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is still ongoing, says Deputy Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

Sarawak will continue to demand for what belongs to the State as enshrined in MA63, she assured, as the State government has been and will continue to pursue or negotiate for the return of its rights.

“There are many issues to look into. It is not just on education but there are quite a few and it takes time. Some have been given back to us but there are a few more that have not been resolved.

“Our negotiations and talks between the Sarawak GPS government and its Federal counterpart through the Consultative Committee on Malaysia Agreement are ongoing. There are still a lot more matters that need to be settled and ironed out under MA63. It is not easy,” Sharifah Hasidah told reporters after distributing bubur lambuk to 500 people in Kampung Malaysia Jaya, Jalan Astana in conjunction with the month of Ramadan.

She added that it is not possible to announce a deadline at the moment, although a series of discussions and meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg have been made.

Among the demands that were given back to Sarawak are; the Federal government agreeing to hand over power in overseeing the distribution of gas to the State under the Distribution of Gas Ordinance 2016 effective June 1 last year, meaning Sarawak now has full control of its oil and gas resources, the devolution of power to State authorities in enacting subsidiary rules under the Labour Ordinance, and handing over delegation of power under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) to the Sarawak government to regulate environmental matters (including scheduled waste). — DayakDaily