The Sarawak Multimedia Authority Bill 2017 was passed today, paving the way for the formation of Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), a body to spearhead the making of Sarawak into a cyber powerhouse.
The SMA will be chaired by the Chief Minister, while the State Secretary, the State Attorney-General and the State Financial Secretary will be its three ex-officio members.
It will also include not less than five and not more than seven other members with the right credentials, expertise and experience in the fields of information technology.
Minister for International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh said the new law would not contravene any federal law regulating telecommunications or multimedia, which is a federal power.
He explained the establishment of SMA was pursuant to the power to incorporate authorities and other bodies set up by State law provided for under Article 95B of the Federal Constitution, which states that for Sabah and Sarawak, Item 14 of List IIA in the Ninth Schedule shall be deemed to form part of the State List.
As such, the soon-to-be formed SMA will not duplicate the roles of federal agency Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which is still the agency for licensing and regulating communication and multimedia industry in Malaysia pursuant to List I, Item 10 (g) and (h) of Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
“The SMA does not encroach in the jurisdiction of MCMC but it complements MCMC. The SMA’s regulatory powers are derived from existing state laws as well as future laws to be enacted in accordance with the constitutional provisions,” he said.