Sarawak minister denies state land law amendments would be unconstitutional

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She said the Bill relating to the control of airspace and any property including spectrum above land in Sarawak sought to enable the state to exercise its regulatory right over the use of spectrum in the airspace above land in Sarawak. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
She said the Bill relating to the control of airspace and any property including spectrum above land in Sarawak sought to enable the state to exercise its regulatory right over the use of spectrum in the airspace above land in Sarawak. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUCHING, May 18 — Deputy Minister of Law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and State-Federal Relation Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali today dismissed an Opposition member’s suggestion that the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill could violate the Federal Constitution.

She said the Bill relating to the control of airspace and any property including spectrum above land in Sarawak sought to enable the state to exercise its regulatory right over the use of spectrum in the airspace above land in Sarawak.

“This is for us to regulate the spectrum. It is not in any way in conflict with the Federal Constitution,” she said when winding the debate on the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the State Assembly.

Hasidah was replying to a suggestion made by DAP’s Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen that the amendment to the land code relating to the control of airspace and spectrum over land in Sarawak may be against the Federal Constitution.

She reiterated that the state government’s intention in amending the land code is to ensure that the service providers extend telecommunication services to the rural areas so that they are not left behind when the state proceeds with its digital economy.

She gave her assurance that suggestions, ideas and recommendations raised during the debate will be taken into consideration in the formulation of the Rules later on in relation to the land code amendment Bill.

“We are a prudent government. We will give proper attention to all matters relating to spectrum and telecommunications and also to the safety, security and environmental integrity issues which may arise in the process of regulating carbon storage,” she said.

She said the state government will conform to the international standard and practices in the implementation of carbon storage projects.

Earlier this morning, Hasidah said the amendments to the land code will provide for the control by the state government of the airspace above the earth of the land as well as any property in that airspace including spectrum and also regulating the erection, maintenance and occupation of any structure in that airspace.

She said the amendments will also regulate and control the use of land, onshore and offshore, in the sea bed which forms the continental shelf of Sarawak, for the storage, retention, capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases of any form or description.

Hasidah said the amendments are intended to aid, and facilitate the implementation of the state government’s Post Covid Development Strategy 2030, particularly in relation to the establishment of a state-wide network, of telecommunications infrastructure and services for adoption of digital technology and the sustainable use of the land and natural resources in line with our commitments in taking measures to mitigate climate change and global warming.

The state assembly later passed the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill.

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