Sarawak has submitted 'formula' for special grant to Federal Govt, state assembly told

Deputy Minister in the Premier's Department Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is currently pursuing negotiations with the Federal Government to review its special grant entitlement through a joint consultative committee under the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

State Deputy Minister in the Premier's Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the state government had requested a meeting of the joint consultative committee soon to discuss and agree on the formula for reviewing the special grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

"This will ensure that special grants to Sarawak can be distributed fairly and equitably," she said in reply to Wilfred Yap (GPS-Kota Sentosa) during question time in the state legislative assembly on Monday (May 23).

Yap had asked whether the state government was pursuing talks for a joint review of the special grant.

He also asked why Sarawak had not reached a consensus with the Federal Government on the grant, unlike Sabah which agreed to accept an increase in its special grant from RM26.7mil to RM125.6mil for 2022.

To this, Sharifah Hasidah said the Sarawak government had submitted a "reasonable and pragmatic" formula for reviewing the special grant, which took into account the Federal Government's financial position.

"We don't want the Federal Government to simply give out any figures," she said.

She added that if the Federal and state governments were unable to reach an agreement on the review, it would be referred to an independent assessor as provided for under Article 112D(6) of the Federal Constitution.

"(The assessor's) recommendation shall be binding on the Federal and Sarawak governments and shall be given effect as if they were the agreement of those governments," she said.

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