KOTA KINABALU: Sabah hopes to see the implementation of MA63, especially on the return of 40% state revenue and 20% oil royalty, to be carried out next year or before the next general election by the latest.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said this in response to a question by Karanaan assemblyman Datuk Masidi Manjun, during the state assembly question and answer session on Tuesday (Nov 19).
Masidi was asking whether the state government should set a time frame on when discussions on MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) should be wrapped up and implementations begin.
He said “discussion after discussion” have been conducted over the matter in recent years, and not only by the current government.
Shafie responded by saying it was not that the state government did not have a strong political will to see this through, but rather because there are many factors such as enactments and other matters that needed to be finalised and decided on.
“We have seen eight out of the 21 terms in MA63 fulfilled, things are moving though not at a rate that we want, ” he said.
He assured the assembly as well as the people of Sabah that all is being done to ensure that state rights were being fought for.
Shafie said apart from the revenue and oil royalty issues, there are also other pressing matters that need to be looked into such as ways to generate income for the state using various means including promoting downstream industries.
“We are looking at how we can increase state income, how to generate money and what other resources we can depend on for the economy, ” he said.
The issue on MA63 and its implementation, brought up by Tambunan assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of Sabah STAR, took up more than half the time allocated for the question and answer session.
Shafie said the government is continuing its request to Petronas to give Sabah its 20% oil royalty but the oil and gas company has yet to give an answer to that.
He said the MA63 steering committee meeting will give a report on its discussions and what agreement has been achieved very soon.
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