Putrajaya delays power conservation law in Senate over Sarawak lawmakers’ autonomy concern

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Dec 6 — The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (NRECC) has postponed the second reading of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill 2023 in the Dewan Negara after eight Sarawak senators expressed concern that the law could apply to their state, Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim said today.

He said Senate President Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar notified them that this as well as the second reading of the Energy Supply (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the current meeting of the Upper House have been postponed.

“We were informed that the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2023 and the Electricity Supply (Amendment) Bill, 2023 would be harmonised through the involvement of the Sarawak and Sabah governments,” said Ahmad in a statement on behalf of the other seven senators.

“We welcome the postponement by the NRECC which took note of our concern towards the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill relating to the autonomous power of Sarawak over electricity and sources of electricity available in the state.”

He said they had applied to Wan Junaidi to make amendments to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill as it does not give equal right to Sarawak as enshrined in the Energy Commission Act 2001 and the federal Electricity Supply Act 1990.

Ahmad said, however, that he and the seven senators did not oppose the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill that was passed by Parliament on October 10 per se.

“However, after receiving a copy of the Bill that was distributed to us, we found that this Bill allows the minister to extend its use to Sarawak,” he said.

He said that they, as senators from Sarawak and in upholding the federal and Sarawak constitutions, were responsible to ensure that state’s rights are protected and not further eroded, either intentionally or otherwise.

The Dewan Rakyat on October 10 this year passed the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill 2023 that sought to regulate the efficient consumption and conservation of energy in the country.

NRECC Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad tabled the Bill that, among others, sought to strengthen the legal framework related to energy efficiency and conservation practices to ensure full involvement at various levels.

He said the bill closely aligns with the energy transition initiative towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by energy-related sectors by 2050 and it is also one of the key initiatives under the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR).