Be firm to ensure federal govt be transparent on Sabah 40 pct entitlement, state leaders told
2 April 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah leaders must be firm to ensure that the federal government be transparent in the 40 per cent nett revenue entitlement to Sabah, said UPKO Secretary-General Nelson W. Angang.
He stressed that the state government must urge the federal government to disclose the actual amount of revenues they have collected from Sabah annually.
“Only then the state government of Sabah would be in the best position to negotiate our entitlement based on the 40 per cent formula.
“Without it, Sabah will always be handicapped on the negotiating table of not being able to know the exact value of our 40 per cent entitlement because it must be based on the actual amount of the total revenue collected by the federal government annually over the years,” he said in a statement today.
Nelson also questioned whether the federal government’s reason to no longer recognise the 40 per cent is to avoid disclosing and denying Sabah the information of the actual total revenue that they have collected from Sabah annually over the years in the future.
“If the federal government is adamant of not wanting to negotiate at all of paying or increasing the payment to Sabah since 1974 based on the 40 per cent formula, then the Sabah government must take serious consideration of bringing this matter and enforcing Sabah rights to another level.
“If they must bring this matter to be decided by the court then so be it. It is time that this matter be finally addressed and adjudicated by the court of law if the negotiation does not benefit Sabah or worst denies Sabah of its constitutional rights and disrespects the spirit and intention of MA63,” he said.
He added that the most grievous of harm would befall the people of Sabah of their constitutional entitlement should the interpretation of the federal government is accepted in that the 40 per cent formula is no longer applicable based on the First Review Order of 1970 when clearly that order was only intended for a period of 5 years from 1969 to 1973 and that a 2nd review ought to have been made in 1974.
That is why the State government must never agree in the negotiation with the Federal government that whatever consideration or settlement that is being proposed and agreed upon is not based on the 40 per cent formula, he added.
“It must always be based on the intention of the 40 per cent formula. To do otherwise would create a dangerous precedent that the 40 per cent formula can be ignored and dismissed.
“That is why such interpretation and insistence by the Federal government must be legally challenged and I would dare say corrected. We owe this to our future generation to bring finality to this issue.
“Imagine if the promise of our rights in receiving 40 per cent nett revenue is respected, we would be able to have the means and to plan in developing our state without having to wait and rely on the ‘goodwill’ of the Federal government in allocating us more development funds annually.
“There will be less animosity and the avoidance of another quarrel between the people and our state minister on the demand to improve the road conditions in Sabah in the social media.”