The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) said the government is of the view that the Special Council on MA63 to be set up for the purpose will be sufficient and there is no need to set up a parliamentary committee for the purpose.
Hanifah was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (GPS-Batang Lupar) in Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
She said the Special Council on M63 will be set up soon and will be chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Members of the council will include chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak and representatives from the federal and state governments, she said.
“The government is confident that the success of the council will help ease the dissatisfaction felt by the people of Sabah and Sarawak all this while which has led to tensions with regard to unity,” she added. She added that a special committee, jointly headed by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, has been given the mandate to hold discussions with east Malaysia over the implementation of MA63.
Hanifah noted that 17 out of 21 issues identified by the committee had been agreed upon, while the remaining four issues were still under discussion.
The outstanding issues, she noted, included oil royalties, oil minerals and oil fields, the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and state rights over the continental shelf.
“It will take between one and two years for the respective agencies to implement them,” she said.
On the legal tussle between Petronas and the Sarawak state government over payment of sales tax, Hanifah said the matter was recently resolved with both parties withdrawing their legal suits.