KOTA KINABALU, April 25 — The Sabah State Legislative Assembly today passed three Bills, namely the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (Otec) Bill 2024, the Sabah Energy Commission (Amendment No. 2) Bill 2024, and the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2024.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who introduced the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Bill, said it would pave the way for the development of Otec as a renewable energy source and one of the key initiatives under the blue economy.

He said the bill would allow Sabah, through the Energy Commission of Sabah (ECoS), to regulate the exploration, construction, and operation of Otec facilities.

“Otec technology uses the temperature difference between warm surface water and cold deep-sea water to produce electricity in an environmentally friendly manner,” he said, adding that Sabah has extensive marine resources and suitable characteristics, making it an ideal region to explore Otec.


Hajiji said studies indicate that several areas in Sabah have the potential to generate up to 20,000 megawatts of electric power, which could be used to produce green hydrogen, a high-demand energy source to meet the goal of zero carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the Sabah Energy Commission (Amendment No. 2) Bill 2024, tabled by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Abidin Madingkir, is to regulate Otec.

Abidin said that when Otec is implemented and regulated by ECoS, it would create more job opportunities for local residents in addition to being operated by those skilled in the field.


“But most importantly, it will contribute to the energy needs of the state of Sabah,” he said, thanking the assemblymen who debated the bill and provided their insights, opinions and suggestions on it.

State Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif in presenting the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2024 said its aims to give clearer authority to religious enforcement officers to conduct investigations for Shariah offences committed on social media.

Mohd Arifin said the bill would also allow Shariah officers to prosecute offences that are committed electronically via social media, as the dissemination of information through these platforms is commonly used by a wide range of age groups.

“Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok have been widely used to convey issues related to politics, economics and religion,” he said.

The sitting then adjourned sine die. — Bernama