Vital approach in MA63 talks


High level committee at federal level augurs well for negotiations on oil royalty, state autonomy — CM

Abang Johari (centre) leading the ‘Hidup PBB’ chant after closing the 14th PBB Convention at the BCCK yesterday.

KUCHING: The announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that a high level committee will be set up at the federal level to address matters on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is an important move to resolve delicate issues such as oil royalty and state autonomy.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this at a press conference after closing the 14th PBB Convention at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

“The announcement by Datuk Seri Najib has opened up a new chapter in our discussion on the state’s rights with the federal, our stand in the Federal Constitution and our provisions within Malaysia,” he said.

He further said that “All three deputy chief ministers will be in the state’s high level committee to seek resolution on the issue with the federal level”.

Delving further on the matter, Abang Johari said under the Federal Constitution, the permits and licences for mining related activities were clearly under the purview of the state.

“This means, it is the right of the state to approve any mining activities and any companies who are involved in mining related activities, including Petronas, which need to comply with the written rules,” said Abang Johari.

“If any company, like Petronas, wants to mine in Sarawak, they need to comply with the state’s law,” he pointed out, adding that this would be the first time the state government exercise the right.

At the same time, he said Petros, the state’s newly setup oil and gas company, will play an active role in the state’s oil and gas activities. On who will become Petros chief executive officer, Abang Johari revealed that they had found the right person for the job.

“He is a Bidayuh who has experience in oil and gas industry,” he said, but declined to name the person. On the convention, Abang Johari thanked party members from throughout the state for their presence and said many inputs and ideas were received which were valuable in transforming the state’s economy.

“We will look into three important issues, which is cyber connectivity in the state, roads and bridges and also the state water grid system as three important core focus in developing the state towards the digital era,” he said.

“The three important components are vital to go with our continuous effort in training our people as we embrace the digital economy era,” he added.

Abang Johari also said the acknowledgement by Najib that PBB is the strongest party in the state should be a morale booster for members to remain united in the party.

“We should continue to look into the interest of not just members of our party, but everyone in Sarawak as well,” he said.

Later, he said PBB was ready for the coming general election.

“Anytime, we are ready,” he added.



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