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Bill to amend Continental Shelf Act gets first reading

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2009: The bill to amend the Continental Shelf Act 1966 was given its first reading today in the Dewan Rakyat.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas who tabled the bill said the second reading would be done in the present parliament session.

The new act will be known as the Continental Shelf (Amendment) Act 2009.

The amendment to Section 3 of the act is will state that if Malaysia does not explore the shelf or exploits its natural resources no other country could do so unless with the express permission of Malaysia.

The amendment also lines out the rights and powers of states in their waters.

Other purposes of the amendment is to change the definition of “continental shelf” to a newer one compatible with Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

With the new definition, Malaysia would have sovereignty for 200 nautical miles from the edge of the shelf. — Bernama


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