FCAS hopes the Federal govt will also hand over control of power supply back to Sabah

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KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) on Thursday welcomed and supported the Federal government’s decision to hand over control of Sabah’s natural gas resources to the state.

Describing it as a good start for the Federal government to fully honour and to implement the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), its President Tan Sri T.C Goh hopes the Federal government could also expedite the return of the control over power supply to the state, after this.

He was convinced that the State government has the capacity to manage power supply professionally, to boost the state’s development and revenues, and to improve the people’s wellbeing.

He thus hoped the return of control over power supply to the state, will also be given due consideration in the memorandum on MA63, which is currently being prepared by the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs), for submission to the Federal Cabinet for approval.

Goh who is also an Advisor in the Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC) expressed this in a statement issued today. He was commenting on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement on Wednesday that, Petronas will hand over control of Sabah’s natural gas resources to the state.

Goh acknowledged that the said announcement was indeed a wonderful news which the people of Sabah had been waiting for many years. It also reflected well on the present Federal government’s sincerity and commitment towards honouring and implementing those special rights promised in the MA63.

He thus hoped the Federal government could work closely with the Sabah government, to ensure that all the special rights are fully and properly implemented, as promised.

“After handing over the control of Sabah’s natural gas resources, we hope the Federal government could also expedite the transfer of control over power supply to Sabah, by initiating the relevant technical and legal procedures,” he said.

Goh also hoped the State government could through the establishment of the Energy Commission of Sabah, to ensure a professional and efficient management of Sabah’s power supply.

He underscored that, whether it is the natural gas or the power supply, both are important resources for Sabah’s development, besides being essential to the people’s daily lives. He thus hoped once the State government regained full control over the state’s natural gas and power supply, it would strive to ensure that these two sectors bring greater benefits to the state and its people.

He also welcomed and supported the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor’s recent statement that, upon the king’s consent (to the transfer of regulatory power), the State Assembly will convene a special sitting to approve and gazette the Sabah State Bills for gas supply, and the Energy Commission of Sabah will take over all regulatory power for onshore gas supply (regasification, transmission, distribution, use of gas by private licensees and retail) in Sabah with immediate effect.

He also hoped that all the 21 issues pertaining to the MA63 will finally be fully resolved.

He noted that, 17 out of the 21 issues monitored by the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63) have been resolved. The remaining four issues include oil royalty issues and petroleum cash payments; oil minerals and oil fields; Territorial Sea Act 2012 [Act 750]; and state rights over the continental shelf.