Sarawak’s land and forests amendment Bills set to leave mark in country, state Speaker says

Sarawak’s land and forests amendment Bills set to leave mark in country, state Speaker says

Sarawak Speaker Tan Sri Asfia Awang Nasar told reporters that the Land Code and Forests amendment bills will have far-reaching implications. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, May 15 — Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Asfia Awang Nasar today said the Land Code and Forest amendments Bills, which are to be tabled in next week’s sitting of the Sarawak State Assembly, will have far and wide-reaching implications.

He said the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Forests (Amendment) Bill 2022 are related to one another and will be the first time both of them are tabled together in the country.

“The land code amendment Bill, to be tabled by Deputy Minister of Law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and State-Federal Relation Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali on May 18, is a very sophisticated Bill with far-reaching ramifications and implications.

“It involves the definitions of what land is,” he told reporters after attending the GPS supreme council meeting here.

He said the deputy minister will further elaborate on the Bill when she tables it later.

“It is the first time for any state in Malaysia to introduce these two Bills. It has never been done. These two Bills are related in more ways than one.”

“It is like casting a stone into the lake and the ripples will go far,” he added.

Asfia, however, allayed the fears that the land code amendment Bill has nothing to do with the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

The Speaker said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan will table the Forests (Amendment) Bill 2022 on May 18 and it will be debated the following day.

“This Bill is equally sophisticated with wide ramification on the extension of the definitions of timber produce,” he said, adding the deputy premier will elaborate more on the Bill.

Asfia said Deputy Premier and Second Minister of Finance and Economy Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah will table the Supplementary Supply (2022) Bill, 2022 on May 18 and be debated on May 20.

He said the State Assembly has received a private member’s motion by Parti Bersatu Sarawak Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How on the Continental Shelf Act and Territorial Sea Act.

He said the State Assembly will hold an election for a senator to replace Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili whose two-term ends on July 18.

Asfia said Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud will open the State Assembly’s sitting on May 17.

The Sarawak State Assembly will sit from May 17 to 26.

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