- "Many land lots in Sabah and Sarawak were acquired by the federal government but were not developed, and with the return of the land, the two states will at least be able to develop the land areas,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
PUTRAJAYA (July 18): The federal government has agreed to return 55 lots of land that have been acquired from the Sabah and Sarawak governments in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (pictured).
"These land lots are no longer used by the federal government. For safety, health (reasons) and so on, they need to be handed back to the state governments (Sabah and Sarawak)," he told a press conference after chairing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Technical Committee meeting here on Tuesday (July 18).
He added that the two state governments would pay back to the federal government the amount of compensation that was paid when it took over the land.
Fadillah, who is the plantation and commodities minister, said that so far, Sarawak had wanted a total of 219 lots of land to be returned, while Sabah five.
Without detailing the total area of the land lots, Fadillah said they had been identified as undeveloped for five years.
He said the matter would be discussed at the joint committee level which will be chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Bintulu Port is now the only port in Sarawak that is still placed under the responsibility and supervision of the federal government.
He said the results of the joint committee's discussion would be brought to the MA63 Technical Committee meeting, before being taken to the Cabinet meeting.
He said the meeting had agreed that a special committee should be formed for Sabah and Sarawak comprising representatives from the federal government, particularly from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
"The matter will be detailed by Armizan in terms of legislation, administration and finance,” he added.
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