We want to give funds due to Sabah but we can't afford it now, says Guan Eng


KOTA KINABALU: The federal government wants to give Sabah its 40 percent net revenue as stipulated under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, but there is not enough money to do so, says Lim Guan Eng.

The Finance Minister said it is not that the federal government was dilly dallying on the matter, but rather it was thinking of the current financial situation.

"We want to give back what is owed to Sabah.

"But how can we do it if we don't have enough money?" Lim said during a press conference at the Sabah DAP congress here Sunday (Nov 25).

He said matters relating to the state revenue and MA63 were being looked at under a special committee set up by the federal government.

"Let us get our financial situation back on track first, we want to prevent Malaysia from going bankrupt," he said.

Lim said nevertheless, the government had increased its allocation for Sabah in Budget 2019.

"The overall budget allocated to Sabah has been increased, even the emolument for Eastern Sabah Security Command personnel have been increased," he said.

He said that the development funds for Esscom were increased from RM36.7mil in 2018 to RM74.5mil for 2019.

As for emolument, Lim said it was increased from the existing RM14.9mil to RM17mil for 2019. Funds for Esscom services have also risen from RM19.2mil to RM25.6mil for 2019.

He said it was unfair to say that the federal government was not keeping its word or not taking care of Sabah when they are doing their best to revive the economy due to past debts, including RM50bil from 1MDB.

"We also have to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns next year and it is a huge amount, we hope the people can be patient," he said.

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