KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government’s obligations towards Sabah and Sarawak are not limited to maintaining diplomatic ties and security, but also to ensure the two states are financially capable of running their respective regions.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said several clauses in the Federal Constitution detail the Federal Government’s monetary obligations towards Sabah and Sarawak.
In particular, he said, was the obligation to pay the special grant of 40% of the net revenue derived by the Federation from Sabah.
"The Federal Government is currently only paying Sabah a total of RM26.7mil. This is only one.
"Other financial arrangements agreed upon and adopted into the amended Federal Constitution under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) include the road grant, capitation grant, and import and export duty.
“If the Federal Government met its monetary obligations to Sabah and Sarawak, I am sure the Bornean states will be able to solve half of our financial problems and carry out more development projects, ” he said in a statement after attending the MA63 Socio-economy working committee meeting here on Monday (April 6).
Jeffrey said in addition to what the Sarawak government has repeatedly stated, the Bornean states were much too big to be considered just another state within the Federation.
"Both regions overshadow the more developed Peninsular Malaysia in terms of size. As such, I have proposed that the committee produce a white paper on the constitutional rights of Sabah and Sarawak before the next meeting, ” he said
"The committee should focus on solving this main issue, namely reclaiming and restoring our constitutional rights, rather than talking about how many telecommunication towers we should have," added Jeffrey.