by BERNAMA/ graphic by MZUKRI
THE government is in the final process of finalising the composition in the Special Council to Review Implementation of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the Parliament was told today.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib said the matter would be brought to the cabinet soon.
“This special council is a forum specially set up to discuss and monitor the overall implementation of MA63 together with the Sabah and Sarawak state governments,” she said during the question and answer session.
She was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (GPS-Batang Lupar) on whether there was any effort to set up a special committee to continue the discussions towards finding a commercial solution to Sarawak’s claim on its oil and gas rights.
Apart from that, she said a joint committee between the federal and Sarawak state governments had been set up to discuss issues related to oil and gas, as well as special grants.
“The Prime Minister has given a mandate to the Minister of Finance and the Senior Minister (Works) to discuss the issue with the Sarawak government and Petronas for a commercial solution.
“Based on information received, this will be followed by discussions with the Sabah state government,” she added.
On the current status pertaining to the implementation of 17 out of the 21 items tabled to the Special Cabinet Committee on MA63, Hanifah Hajar said the responsible agency required one to two years to implement them.
She said the remaining four unfinished matters, which included on oil royalties and cash payments for petroleum, as well as minerals and oil fields, would continue to be discussed by the special council.
According to Hanifah Hajar, the special council will be chaired by the Prime Minister and its members will also include the Chief Ministers of Sarawak and Sabah, appointed Cabinet ministers and representatives from the federal, Sabah and Sarawak governments.
On the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee to monitor the implementation of MA63, she said the government was of the view that the establishment of the special council was sufficient at the moment.