Composition of MA63 special council to be finalised soon

The MA63 special council will discuss issues such as claims to oil and gas rights. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is finalising the composition of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) special council for presentation to the Cabinet soon, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Hanifah Hajar Taib said the Special Council on M63 will consist of the Sabah and Sarawak chief ministers and representatives from the federal and state governments.

She was replying to Rohani Abdul Karim (GPS-Batang Lupar), who asked about the progress of discussions on finding a commercial solution to Sarawak’s claim on oil and gas (O&G) rights.

Hanifah said the council is jointly headed by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Works Minister Fadillah Yusof, who have been given the mandate by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss the implementation of MA63 with Sabah, Sarawak and Petronas.

She said 17 out of 21 issues had been agreed upon while the remaining four were under discussion.

“It will take between one and two years for the respective agencies to implement the decisions,” she said.

The outstanding issues include oil royalties, oil minerals and oil fields, the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and the states’ rights over the continental shelf.

Hanifah also said the government had no plans to set up a parliamentary level committee to look into MA63 issues separately with Sabah and Sarawak, adding that the special council was sufficient.