‘No need for new formula,’ says Kitingan on Sabah’s special revenue rights

KOTA KINABALU: There is no need to create a new formula for Sabah’s 40% special revenue rights grant which is expected to be fixed within 12 months, said Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

The Deputy Chief Minister said a resolution on the long-standing 40% special grant in Sabah is expected to be reached within the coming year, and there is already an existing mechanism in the Federal Constitution to address it.

“The Federal Constitution already provides an explicit mechanism for this, as stated in Article 112D, 112C, and 112C(6), along with Para 24 of the IGC Report,” he said in a statement, Monday (July 24).

“The information or data needed for these calculations can and should be provided by Federal agencies such as the Ministry of Finance and the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN).

“The framework is there – what we need now is the appropriate data,” Kitingan said.

He also suggested that Sarawak adopt the same formula as Sabah as uniformity would not only bring consistency but also speed up the settlement process and avoid further delays.

On the grant expected to be resolved soon, he said the decision was made by the Technical Committee of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who agreed to use this resolution.

Kitingan stressed that the resolution of this issue, which has been pending for the past 58 years, is very important to ensure that Sabah receives its due right to revenue rights.

Representing the Sabah government in the MA63 committee, he affirmed that the Federal Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has promised to grant the remaining constitutional rights.

“The people of Sabah have waited more than half a century for this moment, and it is our obligation to ensure that the wait is not prolonged,” he said.

Kitingan acknowledged and appreciated the temporary RM300mil special grant allocation from Putrajaya, but was quick to underline that this should only serve as a temporary solution.

“The temporary allocation, though substantial, is only part of what Sabah deserves.

“The RM300mil is indeed a positive step, but our ultimate goal is the actualization of the 40% net profit issue,” he said.

He clarified that receiving the RM300mil grant from the federal government should not be mistaken as Sabah giving up its rights to 40% net income.

On the contrary, Kitingan stressed, it is a stopgap measure while the central issue is pursued.

“The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government remains committed to safeguarding the rights and interests of Sabah.

“The opposition’s allegations that the GRS has caused Sabah to lose 40% of its rights are baseless and continue to attack our administration.

“We call on all parties, especially the federal government, to cooperate and ensure that this matter is resolved within the stipulated time,” he said.

Kitingan said it was in the best interest of the people of Sabah that Sabah get its rightful share of the revenue, protect the state’s autonomy, and continue economic development for the benefit of its people.

Recently, Sabah rights campaigner Datuk James Ligunjang called for the state to start playing by the book on its 40% rights.

He said the issue of Sabah’s 40% rights is a long-standing grievance that has remained unresolved for the past 60 years since the state joined the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Upon joining the Malaysian federation, Sabah was promised 40% rights from the federal government, he said.

“However, this promise was never fully fulfilled, and now is the time to address this matter and ensure that the right is granted without any compromise,” said Ligunjang.

He said some of the consequences of this unfulfilled promise are inadequate infrastructural development, underfunding of education and health care systems, and lack of economic opportunities for the people of Sabah.

The state’s potential has not been fully realized due to the lack of equitable resource allocation and this has resulted in a disparity between Sabah and the more developed states within Malaysia, he said.

#formula #Kitingan #Sabahs #special #revenue #rights

Leave a Comment