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Sabah making progress in reclaiming autonomy, minister says

The Sabah state government is demanding for the power to make laws and to regulate production and distribution of gas and electricity in the state. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Sabah state government is demanding for the power to make laws and to regulate production and distribution of gas and electricity in the state. — Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― The Sabah government's effort to restore state autonomy is bearing results, Sabah Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang said.

Borneo Post reported him saying that the review on a special grant for Sabah has been reactivated and a meeting between the Federal and State governments will be held this month, adding that the Sabah government’s effort in claiming the restoration of the state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) had not been in vain.

The online portal reported Teo saying that he had personally handed over the full report on the restoration of Sabah rights and devolution of powers to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a working breakfast between the State Cabinet and Najib when the latter visited Sabah on May 5 this year.

“Within two weeks after we briefed Najib on May 5, the State Finance Ministry received a letter from the Federal Finance Ministry dated May 8, confirming that the review on the special grant is now reactivated and a meeting will be called sometime in August this year,” Teo, who also chairs the Sabah Rights Review Committee, was quoted saying.

The Sabah state government is demanding for the power to make laws and to regulate production and distribution of gas and electricity in the state. It is also taking the same stance as Sarawak in questioning whether the Territorial Seas Act 2012 is binding on both the East Malaysian states.

Sabah is also asking for further liberalisation of the cabotage policy.

Sabahans and Sarawakians had in recent years sought greater autonomy and a restoration of the rights due to them in the two places traditionally considered as Barisan Nasional’s vote bank.

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