KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is glad to obtain the four-fold improve in special grant from the Federal Government, however it will still pursue the return of a 40% share of all revenue earned from the state, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Sabah Chief Minister stated that whereas they welcomed the rise in special grants, negotiations had been still ongoing to get again the 40% revenue owed, as said within the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“The increased special grant is an excellent growth for Sabah. However, negotiations are still ongoing to get the 40% as agreed in MA63,” he stated in a press release Thursday (April 14).
He stated the announcement of the increased special grant to Sabah confirmed that the Federal Government was ready to hearken to Sabah and that “it is a optimistic signal”.
“The four-fold increment from RM26.7mil to RM125.6mil starting this yr will actually profit Sabah. It will certainly assist to push our Sabah Maju Jaya agenda,” Hajiji added.
Earlier, he attended the assembly on MA63 notably on the special grant chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob by way of video conferencing.
Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg was additionally in attendance.
Meanwhile, one of many group’s lead negotiators, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, stated whereas Sabah and the Federal Government might need their very own interpretation of the 40% revenue returns, Sabah will keep its understanding of it and proceed to push for it.
He stated this was among the many main challenges of their discussions previous to reaching a consensus on the rise of special grants for Sabah.
“We maintain the 40% as we understand it but the Federal Government has its own interpretation. So we have agreed to disagree on that part and will continue to talk,” he stated.
Masidi stated any settlement made mustn’t prejudice Sabah’s proper to pursue the 40%.
“We feel we are entitled (to get the backdated payment) under the federal Constitution. I hope we can get a consensus on this as soon as possible,” he stated.
He expects all events to respect the provisions as per the Constitution although there may be totally different interpretations on that.
“The core of the matter is that the 40% is provided for in the Constitution and it also provides that if both sides don’t come to an agreement, we need to refer to an assessor or arbitrator,” Masidi stated.
He additionally stated it had been powerful negotiating on the increased special grants.
“It was tough but people were reasonable. I told them we are here as a Malaysian team, not just a Sabah team because we need to solve this problem,” he stated
“If we solve this problem, the whole country is happy. If we don’t, Sabah will not be happy,” Masidi added.
He stated Sabah, as an integral a part of Malaysia, ought to deserve its rightful place under the provisions of MA63.
When requested if it was true that he had banged a desk through the discussions, he stated as people, everybody can get emotional when dealing with sure points however they need to keep targeted to get to the target.
“The main thing is to get results. Perhaps banging tables can help but we should not lose focus to get to the objective,” he added.