KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — Three issues in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) have been deemed solved and do not require any follow-up action, according to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib.
She said the issues solved by the Special Cabinet Committee of MA63 were the demand for export duties on timber and forest products in Sabah, administration of the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan in Sabah, and also issues involving agriculture and forestry sector in the same state.
She explained that the 14 remaining issues, however, required further and continuous action by the relevant ministries, agencies and state governments of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Generally, the agencies involved are expected to execute the decisions in several phases, which may take one to three years to be completed,” she said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
Hanifah Hajar said several work committees would be set up to ensure proper execution of the decisions concerning the MA63 issues, with the status of execution to be reported to the MA63 Special Council chaired by the Prime Minister.
The deputy minister said discussions on four other unsolved issues, namely the oil royalty and cash payment for petroleum, oil minerals and oil fields; Territorial Sea Act 2012 (Act 750), and the Continental Shelf Act 1966 (Act 83), will proceed in the Special Council which to be set up soon.
However, she said there was no need for the final report on the discussions to be debated in Parliament or to be made public.
“The government still maintains that there is no need for the final report to be made public as the discussions are technical in nature and involve sensitive matters,” she said.
Prior to this, Dr Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) proposed for the final report on the discussions about the MA63 issues to be debated in Parliament and made public.
In December 2019, a total of 21 issues were submitted by the Sabah and Sarawak governments in the Special Cabinet Committee to Review the Implementation of MA63, 17 of which have reached mutual agreements.