Sarawak-Federal Govt discussions on environment underway, says state deputy minister

Posted on 19 Jan 2024
Source of News: The Star

State Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh (centre) presenting a memento to Sabah Environment Protection Department director Vitalis Moduying, while NREB director Jack Liam (left) looks on. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star


KUCHING, 18 Jan 2024: Sarawak is holding ongoing discussions with the Federal Government on the transfer of autonomy over matters related to the environment to the state, says Datuk Len Talif Salleh.

The state Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister said there was no timeline for the process as it was a complex matter involving many layers of authority.

Len Talif added that there are various Federal agencies and ministries to deal with when it comes to environmental matters.

"There is already some progress in the discussion. It's a dynamic process. Some matters we have achieved, and some are towards being achieved, but there are a few other things we need to sort out," he said.

Len Talif told reporters this after closing an environmental dialogue between the state Natural Resources Environment Board (NREB) and Sabah's Environment Protection Department (EPD) here on Thursday (Jan 18).

He then said administrative matters were finalised while legal aspects were still being discussed.

Len Talif said that while environmental matters would eventually come under the state, certain parts like financing would be the Federal Government's responsibility.

In his speech earlier, Len Talif said proactive efforts by Sarawak and Sabah, facilitated by NREB and EPD, would ensure the successful transfer of environmental autonomy to both states.

He said the autonomy granted by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) would enable the formulation of customised environmental policies to promote sustainable development.

"This newfound authority enables both states to balance economic progress and ecological preservation through responsible resource management. This is a positive step towards a more sustainable future," he said.

"NREB and EPD play a pivotal role in the transition process preceding the acquisition of environmental powers under MA63," added Len Talif.

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