Time to monetise space above and below

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BY NEVILLE TIMOTHY SANDERS

AMENDMENTS to the Land Code are necessary to empower Sarawak over its rights to sovereignty space above the land and below the sea.

“As it is now, under federal laws, companies have to apply to the federal government for use of Sarawak air space or below the sea,” said Lo Khiere Chang (GPS-Batu Kitang).

“With the amendment to the Land Code, they must seek approval from the state first,” he added.

To illustrate his point Lo told the House that DiGi paid RM598 million annually to obtain the spectrum license and paid RM51 million to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) annually.

“This is the time we should take control of what we own to ensure that parties using our air space pay us for it.

“We also want to take control of the continental shelf for carbon storage so that whoever wants to store anything under the sea, in our depleted gas reservoir and other spaces within our continental shelf, have to get a licence from us,” he said in support of the amendment Bill in his debate speech today.

He said in the case of petrochemical companies which produce C02, they need space for their carbon storage somewhere under the seabed.

“So for them to do so, they will now be required to get a licence under the 2022 Bill,” he added.

“In today’s world, environment and climate is an important aspect of life. The objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change is to reduce greenhouse emission (carbon dioxide). One of the ways to store the C02 emitted is by injecting it into oil wells,” he said.

He said this was how the state should take advantage to benefit Sarawak financially in providing space for users to store carbon credit.

“We are talking in the tune of billions of ringgit and the creation of thousands of jobs here as mentioned by the deputy minister.

“The world is producing carbon dioxide and looking for ways to store carbon. Developed nations are capable of carbon capture and finding ways to store them in parts of the world and Sarawak is one of them.

“The world has recognised that this region has very little seismic activity and therefore absolutely feasible to store C02 and other gases,” he added.

He also said that not only could the state store carbon, the trees in the forests could absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

“We can also store C02 under the ground and feed into our trees to produce oxygen.

“Thus, should anyone want such facilities in Sarawak, they need to get our permission to do it. From there, we can monetise Sarawak into carbon fields.

“Therefore, I support this Bill tabled by the Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali,” said Lo.

ends

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