KUCHING, May 20 – The Sarawak government has yet to receive any response from the Federal government regarding the candidate proposed to be its representative on the board of directors of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations), Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the candidate was proposed as a follow-up to the state’s demand to have a representative on the IRB board.

“This is important to ensure that the Sarawak government knows the country’s financial position and to assist in discussions and negotiations on special grants under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution,” she said.

In reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Ibrahim Baki (GPS-Satok) during question-and-answer session at the Sarawak state assembly sitting today, she said the proposed membership on the IRB board was one of the state’s demands still in discussions with the Federal government.

Other claims still under negotiation include the issue of judicial administration in Sabah and Sarawak and the proposed recognition of the Sarawak Public Works Department, Sarawak Irrigation and Drainage Department and Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) as technical departments under Treasury Instructions 182. Also pending are the proposed increase in the number of Dewan Rakyat members from Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament; and a discussion on the special grant review formula under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

In response to Ibrahim’s original question, Sharifah Hasidah said so far Sarawak’s claims that had been resolved were the settlement between the Sarawak government and Petronas through a Commercial Settlement Agreement (or CSA); recognition of Sarawak’s right to impose sales tax on petroleum products; recognition of Sarawak’s right to regulate gas distribution in Sarawak; and amendments to Articles 1 (2), 160 (2) and 161A (6) and (7) of the Federal Constitution, which came into effect on Feb 11 this year.

Sharifah Hasidah said the Sarawak government had also submitted proposed amendments to the legislative list in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, specifically to remove Tourism (matters) from the Federal List to be added to the Common List. – Bernama