Sarawak should be given legislative power over tourism, says state deputy minister

KUCHING: The Sarawak government wants tourism to be moved from the federal list in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution to the concurrent list.

State Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the state government had proposed an amendment to the Constitution on this matter, which would give Sarawak legislative power over tourism.

“This is one of several constitutional amendments proposed by Sarawak, following the amendments to Article 1(2), 160(2) and 161A (6) and (7) which came into effect on Feb 11,” she told Datuk Ibrahim Baki (GPS-Satok) during question time in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Friday (May 20).

Ibrahim had asked which of the state’s demands in relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) had been resolved and which were still outstanding.

Sharifah Hasidah said the outstanding demands included having a representative from Sarawak on the board of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and reviewing the special grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

She said the state government would continue negotiations with the Federal Government to resolve these issues.

“For instance, we have proposed a candidate to represent the state government on the LHDN (Inland Revenue Board) board.

“This is important to ensure that the state government knows the nation’s financial standing, which will assist our negotiations in reviewing the special grant, among others,” she said.

However, she said Sarawak had yet to receive feedback from the federal government on these matters.