The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Administra­tion of Sipadan, Ligitan returned to Sabah


KOTA KINABALU: The Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63) has agreed to hand over the administra­tion of Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Sabah, while Sarawak will have full control and management of its gas distributi­on.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the decision was reached yesterday in the MKMA63 virtual meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, which was also participat­ed by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The formal surrender of the Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Sabah, which means full authority and control over the administra­tion of both islands will be under the purview of the Sabah Government... this is with the exception of security control, which will still be under the purview of the Federal Government.

“The Prime Minister said Sabah has sovereignt­y rights on the two islands, which are put under the supervisio­n of Sabah Parks and placed under the protection of the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act 1959,” he said in a statement here on Wednesday.

Ongkili said the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Division (BHESS) and the National Security Council (MKN) will make the arrangemen­ts for the full handover.

He said the handover to Sarawak over the control and management of gas distributi­on under the Distributi­on of Gas Ordinance 2016 will take effect on June 1.

Ongkili, who heads the MKMA63 Secretaria­t, added that the two issues were resolved within four months since the Council held its maiden meeting in December last year.

He said under the Equal Partner Working Committee head by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, two reports were tabled.

“One (is) on the proposed constituti­onal amendments under Article 1(2) and Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constituti­on, which deals with the definition of the federation. The legal team is chaired by Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, together with the Sabah and Sarawak AttorneysG­eneral.

“Their second report is with regards to judiciary issues in the High Courts of Sabah and Sarawak. A committee has been formed on this to sit with the Attorney-Generals of Sabah and Sarawak,” Ongkili said.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, who heads the Security Working Committee also presented his report that touched on the outcome of the meetings on illegal immigrants, the Palau’ community and national registrati­on issues on laws being infringed in Sabah and Sarawak.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. who heads the Socio-Economy Working Committee, furnished the council with a report on the poverty data for Sabah and Sarawak, which comprised details on requiremen­ts and proposed solutions on infrastruc­ture, especially pertaining to water, roads, digital facility and health.

Ongkili said the Committee will also be setting up a database and monitoring centre for the 12th Malaysia Plan for Sabah and Sarawak in the Economic Planning Unit.

He said a Joint Consultati­ve Review Committee was also set up between his office and the Finance Ministry, which will be focussing on reviewing the special grants, including the 40 per cent reimbursab­le provision for Sabah, as stipulated under Article 112 (D) of the Federal Constituti­on.

Ongkili said Pakatan Harapan’s claims that 17 of the 21 issues raised about MA63 had been addressed during its rule were false.

“There was no ultimate decision except for at least two or four issues in Sabah including forestry. There were mere commitment­s on their part to resolve those 17 issues but policies, laws and regulation­s were yet to be changed and to be tabled in the state assemblies or Parliament.

“We through the MKMA63 are now doing these amendments on policies, rules and regulation­s. It is the Perikatan Nasional government that will deliver to the people resolution­s and solutions,” he said.

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