Keep existing special grant formula for Sabah, says local party

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah opposition party has urged the state government to preserve the existing special annual grant formula and reject any attempt to replace it.

Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (Anak Negeri) president Datuk Henrynus Amin said Sabah must stick to financial provisions for the state as specified in the 10th Schedule, Part IV (2) and Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

He questioned the need for a new formula for special grants as indicated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof recently, as there was already an existing one in the Federal Constitution.

He said Sabah should reject the proposed new formula as it could remove or nullify the specific constitutional provisions whereby Sabah was entitled to 40% of net federal revenue accrued in the state.

He noted that Article 112D (1) spells out the need for a periodic review of the special grants specified in the 10th Schedule Part IV of the Federal Constitution.

“But at the same time, the said Article clearly gives Sabah and Sarawak the right to either accept or reject any proposed change,” Amin said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 26).

“We find nothing wrong with the existing formula. Now it is a question of implementation, not negotiation. Why... change or formulate new ones?”

On Saturday (Jan 21), Fadillah said the formula for the special annual grant to Sarawak and Sabah under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution was still being finalised.

He added that the views of all parties would be taken into account in determining the formula, including those of Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The Premier (Abang Johari) has submitted a formula based on the financial position of the Federal Government; if the financial position is good, then the payment should be more.

“The formula has not yet been finalised but for now, the principle and mechanism are in place,” he said.

The day before, Anwar announced that the Federal Government would increase the special grants to Sabah and Sarawak under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution based on a suitable formula.

As the formula was still being finalised, Anwar said Sarawak would receive RM300mil for a start, up from RM16mil previously, while Sabah's amount would be increased from RM26mil to RM260mil.

He said the formula was important so that Sabah and Sarawak would receive a reasonable amount based on the government's financial position.

In this regard, Amin said the 40% entitlement to Sabah was a special state right that should be staunchly defended by Sabahans.

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