THE Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 will bring about a much more comprehensive coverage of the definition of land so that there will be less litigation issues, says Tanjong Batu assemblyman Johnny Pang Leong Ming.
He said the passing of the amendment bill would also help strengthen the protection of Sarawak land rights and its sovereignty.
“For example, under Clause 2 of the Bill, the new definition of land as spelt out under Section 2(a) is very comprehensive, which includes surface of the earth and all substances joining that surface, below the surface and all rock materials, minerals and substances, land covered with water within the boundary of Sarawak and also the airspace above the surface of the Land.
“Under clause 2(b) thereof, it is indeed commendable that new definition of ‘carbon storage’ and ‘spectrum’ has been added. With the said inclusion, we can see the potential of new revenue sources for Sarawak,” he said in support of debating the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2022.
“Take for example, carbon storage which is a complex method of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and storing them in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, aquifers, coal seams and other spaces deep under the surface of the Earth.
“Theoretically this would prevent those gases from having an effect on the climate. This requires a unique range of geo service expertise and geoscience solutions to optimise their development for safe and effective inspection and storage of CO2.”
He also said that Sarawak being an oil and gas producing region for over a century had many depleted oil and gas reservoirs which could be used for carbon storage.
“With the passing of this Bill, our GPS government can impose charges for the injection of CO2 gases into our onshore or offshore depleted oil and gas reservoirs.”
He added that other than being a great potential for another source of revenue for Sarawak once the amendment bill in question is passed, more job opportunities could be created for the younger generation.
Meanwhile, on Clause 5 of the Bill, he said it was imperative for Sarawak to have the rights and control of airspace and carbon storage and also to make the necessary regulations.
“All interested parties are then required to apply for the necessary approval and licences. In this manner, our Sarawak government can then impose the terms and conditions, including charges to be levied or fees to be paid.
“This would then ensure that the use of our airspace and carbon storage areas will generate revenue for Sarawak.”