KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — The government is discussing the suggestion to institutionalise obtaining consent from the governors of Sabah and Sarawak for the appointment of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court Judicial Commissioners.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the matter was one of the basic demands of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that is being discussed by the MA63 Implementation Action Council and the technical committee under the council.

He noted that Article 122AB of the Federal Constitution provided the power of appointing a judicial commissioner was subject to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister after discussions with the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

“The suggested amendment to the Federal Constitution to institutionalise the practice is being discussed and studied by the government. The basic MA63 demand will be monitored by the technical committee under the MA63 Implementation Action Council and the council itself until a solution that satisfies all parties is reached,” he said while winding up the debate for the Royal Address at the Dewan Rakyat today.

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Fadillah, who is responsible for Sabah and Sarawak affairs, said that 10 MA63 basic demands have been fully resolved, with another partially resolved, three had policy decisions and 15 others still being discussed.

The matters resolved include handing over administrative authority over Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Ligitan to the Sabah state government, empowerment on marine fishing licensing to the Sabah and Sarawak governments as well as amendments to the Inland Revenue Board Act 1995 to appoint a Sabah and Sarawak representative as the board’s permanent members.

Matters currently still being discussed include oil royalty and cash payment issues, state rights on the continental shelf, additional state civil service personnel, the Borneonisation of the federal public service and increaseing the number of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak. — Bernama

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