Adenan determined to fight for more state rights
(The Star) – Adenan stressed that the state was now “more vigilant” in ensuring that laws passed by Parliament would not encroach upon the state legislative authority.
The Sarawak government, having won a decisive victory based partly on its promises of gaining autonomy, is flexing its muscles on regaining the state’s rights.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pic) said Sarawak and Sabah would not have joined in the formation of Malaysia without “special constitutional safeguards on territorial boundaries”.
“This foundation should never be undermined,” Adenan told the state legislative assembly during his winding-up speech yesterday.
“The discussions are not to seek powers which constitutionally belong to the Federal Government but to reclaim state powers and rights wrongly encroached upon by the federal authorities based on the principle of ‘render to Caesar what is Caesar’s’.”
Adenan cited several amendments to federal laws that should be changed, including the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and the Merchant Shipping (Amendment and Extension) Act 2011 based on the definition of what is state land, including offshore boundaries.
“The state government is unable to see any justification as to why for the nation (Malaysia), the breadth of the territorial sea is 12 nautical miles but for Sabah and Sarawak, it is only three nautical miles,” he said of the Territorial Sea Act.
Adenan stressed that the state was now “more vigilant” in ensuring that laws passed by Parliament would not encroach upon the state legislative authority.
He said the state assembly would soon present a Bill to amend the Gas Supply Services (Operating Company) Ordinance aimed at providing greater opportunities to Sarawak-based companies to participate in the industry.
Other amendments involve the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and Tourism Industry Act 1992.
The Chief Minister also said the Pan-Borneo Highway must be above and beyond the Federal Government’s usual development allocations to Sarawak.
“Now they seem to have included the cost of the highway at the expense of their obligation to develop our infrastructure.
“I will be pursuing this point. I want it to be over and above what they usually provide for us,” he said.
To a question from Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa), Adenan said the state government had only recently become aware of this.
“We were under the impression that it will not be subtracted from the usual development fund. Only now do we know.
“We are still negotiating on this matter. We cannot accept that, you can be assured.”