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UPKO proposes a mechanism for the repayment of 40% of federal revenue to Sabah


8 December 2023

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Ewon Benedick the President of the United Sabah Progressive Party (UPKO),, stated that the party will propose a mechanism for the repayment of 40% of federal revenue to Sabah.

He, who is also the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, mentioned that UPKO will hold a roundtable discussion involving relevant experts on December 19.

"UPKO will convene a roundtable discussion involving several accountings, taxation, auditing experts, former magistrates, legal practitioners, and we will propose a mechanism to the state and federal governments.

"I will present the findings of this discussion when attending the meeting of the Technical Committee on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), which will convene early next year.

"The formula is already in place, based on 40% of federal revenue collected in Sabah; what remains is the implementation mechanism. This must be resolved by Sabah's leaders, and there must be a starting point.

"If we discuss revenue directly collected by revenue offices in Sabah, along with indirect revenue, it will undoubtedly involve a lengthy process due to the interpretation of various laws.

"This will extend the timeframe set by the government, which is one year from July of this year to July of next year to finalize the mechanism.

"In my opinion, we should use this time to propose mechanisms for the repayment of 40% to Sabah. For example, are the people of Sabah willing to accept a lower allocation than what is currently provided to ensure the repayment of the 40% can be made?" he said.

He made these remarks when speaking to reporters after launching the Coffee Cactus Cooperative Product of Inanam Traders and Entrepreneurs Cooperative Berhad (KOUPIO) in conjunction with the Promotion and Encouragement of Cooperatives Program at the Sepanggar Parliamentary Level 2023 organised by the Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM) today.

Ewon stated that Sabah's leaders need to reduce political polemics and instead work together to propose how to implement the 40 percent.

"If we want to talk about the 40 percent, what are the proposals and how can the mechanism be implemented? I think there is a gap in our discussions on this matter because we only want to demand the 40%, without concrete proposals on the mechanism.

"Sometimes, for example, the Ministry of Finance, proposes, but we do not agree, and at the same time, we do not propose back how to implement the 40 percent demand," he said.

Ewon mentioned that the federal government has now decided on a one-year timeframe to finalise the mechanism for the repayment of federal revenue to Sabah, and UPKO wants to contribute positively to this process.

"Unlike the administrations of previous governments, the government led by Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has set a timeframe for both the federal and state governments to finalise this matter. As a member of the Implementation Action Council for MA63, the Technical Committee of MTPMA63, and a Cabinet Member, I will use all available platforms to record proposals for the implementation mechanism of the 40%," he said.

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