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Sarawak premier: State’s proposal to increase number of parliamentary seats receives positive response

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 09:22 AM

KUCHING, Nov 29 — Sarawak’s proposal to increase the number of seats for Sarawak and Sabah to 35 per cent of the total number in Parliament has received a positive response from the federal government, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.

He said he is optimistic that the proposal will be endorsed by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Technical Committee Meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf, before it is taken to the Federal Cabinet meeting.

“A joint committee held a number of discussions on the proposal,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly.

He said for other matters which are still under discussion, the state government hopes for a favourable outcome from the negotiations with the federal government on the restoration of the state’s rights and safeguards as contained in the MA63, Cobbold Commission, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and Federal Constitution.

He said under the Technical Committee Meeting, it was agreed that the issues on health and education autonomy to Sarawak and Sabah would be further discussed with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education under the Special Coordination Committee.

“As for autonomy on the environment which has been principally agreed to be handed over to the Sarawak government, we are currently preparing for the amendment of the Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance, 1993, in anticipation of the transfer of autonomy on environment,” he said.

The premier said significant progress has also been made since the signing of the Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) between the state government and Petronas three years ago.

He said since the signing, 91 per cent or 4,200 of Petronas employees in Sarawak are locals, exceeding the 85 per cent target and 40 per cent or RM4 billion of the total jobs value in Sarawak have been awarded to Sarawak vendors.

Abang Johari said Petronas had also funded Maktab Rendah Sains Mara in Bintulu that was completed in August this year.

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