KOTA KINABALU: There is no need to degazette the interim or special annual grant to Sabah while waiting for the Federal Government to repay the 40% net revenue owed to the state, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said de-gazetting the payment would mean that Sabah had to put development plans on hold, including the construction of some 1,500 affordable housing units under the Sabah Maju Jaya plan.
He said as mentioned before, accepting the interim payment over a period of five years until 2026 would not affect the state's continuous claims on the 40% net revenue owed in any way.
Hajiji said a joint statement clarifying this matter had also been issued last year.
He said this when responding to questions during his winding-up speech at the state legislative assembly sitting here on Thursday (Dec 1).
Moyog assemblyman Datuk Darell Leiking had asked whether it was possible for the state to revert back to the original formula of this 40% net revenue payment and to do away with the interim payment.
Leiking had said that this could be a good time for Sabah to get the 40% owed while the unity government was in power.
He also wanted to know how much tax and revenue Sabah had been paying to the Federal Government all this while, to which Hajiji said the details were with Federal agencies and Sabah would have to get the exact information from them.
Hajiji assured the assembly that the state government will not stop pursuing rights under MA63, including the 40% net revenue owed.
"I have also met with Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) and brought this matter up with him. He has agreed to seriously consider our demands," he said.