KUCHING: The recent amendment to the Sarawak Land Code exemplifies the state’s effort to curb global warming while at the same time stressing its rights over its air space.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said that he had sought advice from the Attorney-General in regard to the state having the rights over its air space.
“For the past three years, the Attorney-General has advised me that in terms of the law, if we have the authority over land, for sure we have authority over the space above it.
“And in the law, there was no mention of the authority over the space above our land. So for the past three years, our legal experts studied and referred to international law, based on Common Law.
“This means that, if you have rights over land, then you have rights above as well. And based on the Latin principle ‘Cujus est solum ejus est usque ad coelum (Latin for ‘whoever’s is the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven’), you have the sovereign right all the way up until heaven,” he said during the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Ramah Tamah Hari Raya Aidilfitri programme on Friday evening.
He added that the said Latin’s principle was recognised by many countries, especially in the aviation sector where aircraft need to get permission to access airspace over different countries.
“So when people ask why the need to have control over our airspace, this is because of carbon emission… The signal (from towers) in the space will release radiation and one of the components of radiation is carbon dioxide.
“Therefore, we have the rights over our airspace, and those who want to use our airspace need to greet us and seek permission first,” he explained.
Abang Johari elaborated that the world was facing climate change, and thus Sarawak has to manage its state and economy based on the changing times.
“We know that India is suffering from a heatwave that has killed many of its people. This problem will only worsen if we do not manage our planet earth properly.
“For this reason, I have introduced the digital economy that uses digital approaches to analyse the world’s future and to see how we can contribute to looking after the earth,” he said.
Abang Johari added that fortunately Sarawak was still blessed with a green environment as compared to other states in the country.
“Because of this, we need to change the way we use energy, or else people will continue to be affected by the carbon emission which causes global warming,” he said.