No let-up in pursuing MA63 issue: State AG
Published on: Sunday, January 20, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government remains firmly committed to reclaiming the rights of Sabah as enshrined in the Malaysian Agreement.

State Attorney General Datuk Zaleha Rose Datuk Pandin (pic) said the change in the political landscape in country has invited much debate and discussion regarding issues of MA 63 among the stakeholders and the public as a whole. 

“At the State level, the State Government had set up a working committee to look into this issue and the discussion with the State Government and Federal Government on the related issues are ongoing.

“We are hoping that we can see a positive outcome from the discussions by mid this year. 

“Without a doubt, the State Government is determined that the aspirations and hope of every Sabahan is achieved under the present Federal Government,” said Zaleha, Friday.

In another development, she said the State Government has initiated the setting up of the Law Reform Committee in line with the need of keeping abreast with the current development.

According to Zaleha, the Law Reform Committee comprising of the members of the chambers, Sabah Bar and also the stakeholders concerned to look into the existing State laws which may need to be updated or strengthened.

 “Even though this committee is at a very early stage, still, I would like to record my appreciation to the members of the Sabah Bar for their cooperation and support despite their busy schedules.

“I am sure the teamwork between the Chambers and the Sabah Bar is going to be fruitful one and beneficial to our beloved Sabah,” she said. 

 Zaleha also revealed that the State Government also has set up a Sabah Women Legal Aid Centre to provide free legal advice and assistance to women, especially on matters relating to family laws.

“The centre is under the purview of Sabah Women Affairs Department.

“It is our hope that women in the State will benefit from the establishment of this centre. 

“Thanks to the State Government for allocating the financial provisions in order to assist those in need.

“To date, the centre has achieved its Key Performance Indicator (KPI) as targeted by the Woman’s Affairs Department,” she said.

She also highlighted some of the drafting division with enacting of new laws apart form few others enactments which were amended and updated.

Among the amended and new laws such as the amendment to the Land Ordinance, (Sabah Cap.68) in respect of the definition of “land” to include the bed of any river, stream, lake or water course and the area of the continental shelf being the seabed and its subsoil which lies beneath the high seas contiguous to the territorial waters of Sabah as stated in the North Borneo (Alteration of Boundaries) Order in Council, 1954.  Notably, this amendment is timely and needed in order to clarify matters in relation to Sabah’s boundary.

Another amendment, was to the Forest Enactment were made by insertion of a new provision i.e section 28C in relation to the “Reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation-plus (REDD+) REDD+ means the reduction of carbon emissions from logging and forest degrading while the plus symbolises restoration and adding carbon stock through sustainable activities.

She said amendment also has been made to Sabah Sales tax Enactment to improve the system of tax payment from manual to electronic system and an increase in the penalty with regards to offences under the said Enactment.

In addition, further amendment was made to Sabah Sales Tax Enactment to include petroleum products, which will be enforced as soon as possible; Needless to say it will definitely generate more revenue for the State Government.

Zaleha also said the Chambers have drafted two new Islamic Laws as namely, the Wakaf (State of Sabah) 2018 Enactment which provides for a better management and administration of Wakaf of properties in Sabah and the Muslim Wills (State of Sabah) 2018 which provides for all matters relating to Muslim Wills such as provisions relating to beneficiary execution of will revocation of will, etc.

“Also it is indeed my pleasure to share that over the years, we have amended and updated the relevant laws to meet to the current needs for the penalties pertaining to wildlife offences, State Heritage, Forestry, Animal Welfare etc to name a few.  These exercise is on-going and we are actively looking into all the laws that need amendments and review.

“Another exercise which is also in the pipeline is amending/updating the Native Courts Laws.  Without a doubt, Native Laws is a subject which is very dear to all Sabahans, thus we are delighted to say that we are giving it our utmost priority,” Zaleha said. 

According to Zaleha, her chambers shall continue to give full support and commitment to uphold the principle of Justice and fairness to protect the interests of the State Government and the interest of the public at large. - Cynthia D Baga


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