KUALA LUMPUR: Seven issues concerning the Malaysia Agreement 1963 have received joint agreement as of July 23 while 14 issues still require further discussion and are expected to be resolved before Aug 31, the Prime Minister’s Office said today.
It said the Special Cabinet Committee To Review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 has directed the Special Task Force Team on MA63 (Taskforce MA63) to prepare a final report before Aug 31 to be tabled at the next meeting of the committee.
In a statement, the PMO said the decisions were achieved at a committee meeting on July 23 attended by 23 committee members comprising federal Cabinet ministers, the Sarawak and Sabah chief ministers and senior officials from the federal and two state governments.
The issues that have received joint agreement are:
- Export duty claims on logging exports and forest products: It was agreed that this matter be considered as resolved by the federal and the Sabah government following the agreement on the delegation of power to the Sabah Forestry Department, which had been given since June 1, 2017
- Gas distribution and regulatory powers on electricity and gas: The domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry agreed to hand over regulatory powers on gas in Sarawak according to the Distribution Gas Ordinance (DGO) Sarawak 2016, while the Sabah government agreed to carry out due diligence before handing over gas and electricity regulatory powers.
- Implementation of federal and state public works: The federal and the two state governments agreed to set up a Working Committee on Strengthening Federal Projects Implementation Collaborations to discuss the implementation mechanism for federal projects.
- Manpower: The federal government has no objection in principle in implementing the demands concerning the devolution of power to the Sarawak and Sabah governments to make subsidiary legislation on “labour conditions peculiar to the state” under their respective Labour Ordinance. Action is being taken to amend the Labour Ordinance of the two states.
- The power of the state on health issues: The federal and Sarawak and Sabah governments agreed to set up Engagement Committees periodically to discuss matters concerning health management issues for the two states.
- Administration of Pulau Sipadan and Ligitan: The handing over of governance on Pulau Sipadan and Ligitan, particularly concerning the Sabah government, has been agreed upon in principle. Technical and security issues are being scrutinised.
- Agricultural and forestry issues: These are being dropped at the committee meeting because both matters are already under the state list.