UPKO Youth questions govt’s hidden agenda behind removal of 40 pct tax collection revenue
24 March 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) Youth has questioned the government’s ‘sincerity’ in fulfilling its various promises to the people, which includes the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Its chief, Felix Joseph Saang said the people want the MA63 issues to be truly resolved, not for it to be an empty promise.
“We were promised by leaders from GRS, PN and BN that the MA63 issue would be resolved once they take over the government. Some of them even promised that MA63 would be resolved within six months.
“Unfortunately, the issue of MA63 remains unresolved until now. To make matters worse, yet another issue arose - Sabah’s 40 per cent special revenue.
“Recently, we were shocked when the Finance Minister announced that Sabah’s right to receive 40 per cent of the net revenue from the federal government, no longer applies.
“We want to ask what is the hidden agenda behind the government’s decision? The people of Sabah demand an explanation from the government on why the special grant is no longer applicable," he said in a media statement today.
Felix, who is also the Beluran UPKO chief, pointed out that the right is enshrined in the Federal Constitution and therefore it should not be changed at will.
If the special grant is abolished, Felix opined that it will be a massive violation and betrayal to Sabah.
Recently, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongliki said that the issue will be discussed in the MA63 Special Council Committee meeting after this term’s Dewan Rakyat sitting to discuss the Joint Consultative Committee’s (JCC) decision.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the 40 per cent Sabah revenue grant formula was no longer applicable because a review of the Special Grant had been conducted and agreed upon under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution during 1969 to 1973 and the Special Grant rate is in effect to date.
Felix said Tengku Zafrul and Maximus' statements on the matter were very contradictory and confusing to the people of Sabah.
“The Finance Minister stated that the special grant is no longer applicable. However, Maximus instead stated that the issue is not final and will be discussed in the meeting of the Special Council Committee on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63)," he said.