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Sarawak amends land code to control airspace and sea bed
Published on: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
By: Bernama
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Amendments to the Sarawak Land Code allow the state government to regulate the use of land onshore and offshore. (Bernama pic)
KUCHING: Sarawak’s Land Code was amended today following the passage of a bill in the state assembly that changes the definition of “land” under the code to allow the state government to control the airspace and properties above the surface of the land, as well as the seabed of the state’s continental shelf.

The amendment also allows the state government to regulate the use of land onshore and offshore, as well as on the sea bed which forms the continental shelf of Sarawak, for the management and storage of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

“The new definition of the term ‘land’ (in the Land Code) is aligned with that found in other Malaysian legislation like the National Land Code,” said state deputy law minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

When tabling the bill, she said the new definition would make the airspace column above the land part of the land, while the state’s control of the airspace would include any matters including telecommunications spectrum.

“This amendment enables the state government to ensure that spectrum in the airspace above land will be regulated and used in accordance with plans to improve telecommunications infrastructure to support economic transformation under the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030,” she said.

Sharifah Hasidah said the amendments on the use of land for carbon dioxide storage and management would make Sarawak the first state in Malaysia to require industries to comply with international requirements to reduce carbon emission.

She said the Sarawak State Planning Authority (SPA) would be empowered to approve and issue licences for sites to be used for carbon storage, which could be onshore or offshore in the continental shelf within the state’s boundary.

“With this law in place, foreign investors will find Sarawak a good investment destination that provides well-regulated facilities or sites for them to comply with international laws on carbon dioxide emission reduction,” she added.

Meanwhile, the state assembly elected Ahmad Ibrahim as a senator to succeed Zaeidy Suhaili, whose term as a member of the Dewan Negara ends on July 18.

The state assembly sitting resumes tomorrow.

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