Committee to study Sabah’s proposal for increase in annual grants

KOTA KINABALU: A joint technical committee will be set up to study Sabah’s proposal for the increase of its annual grants.

The committee will be set up by the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) under the Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said this was decided after the first Federal-Sabah Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) JCC meeting on annual grants in Putrajaya yesterday. He said the technical committee would be scrutinising the federal government’s counter-offer to Sabah’s proposal.

He did not, however, reveal what the counter offers were.

Ongkili said they had also discussed the terms and references on issues related to Sabah’s special grants. State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun represented the state in calling for a review of the annual grants for Sabah.

This review also pushed for the urgent repayment of due claims to the state, as per MA63, during the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

The federal government came up with a counter offer.

“However, during the two-hour meeting, we agreed for a technical committee to study, in detail, the state’s proposal and the counter-offer by the federal government,” Ongkili said.

He added that the committee is hopeful that some conclusions can be reached on the claims before the Special Council on MA63 meeting is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob next month.

Also present at the meeting were Sabah Attorney General Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof, Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Rusdin Musidi Riman, and former Sabah AG, Datuk Brenndon Soh.

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