MA63: Sabah to continue fight for its revenue returns, says Juhar

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will continue to fight for its revenue returns and other rights as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) for the wellbeing of its people and state, says Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

The Sabah Head of State said that these rights would continue to be pursued through the MA63 implementation action council.

He said efficient financial management was the main focus of the state government in ensuring stable and solid state coffers and for fair distribution in the various development initiatives planned.

Juhar said this during his opening remarks at the Sabah assembly sitting on Monday (May 22).

He said although the state economy was still affected by global economic uncertainties, the state government managed to break its record when the revenue collected hit an all-time high of RM6.9bil in 2022, compared with the RM5.4bil revenue recorded in 2021.

However, this achievement did not warrant the state to feel comfortable, but instead act as motivation to move forward better, and strive harder to garner more state revenue via innovative means, he said.

To ensure that the state financial situation remains strong, the Sabah government has taken various initiatives such as practising prudent spendings, preventing wastages and leakages, engaging in more investments, being more involved in oil and gas and other means.

For example, Juhar said Sabah had signed a Commercial Collaboration Agreement (CCA) with PETRONAS that was set to generate bigger shares and revenue sharing formula for the state.

He said Sabah had also through the Sabah Energy Corporation (SEC) inked a Natural Gas Supply Agreement with PETRONAS that allows the state to tap deeper into the natural gas industry.

He said the implementation of sales and services tax on petroleum products was expected to see Sabah earn up to RM2.45bil in tax annually.

There were many other initiatives that had been laid out and implemented, thanks to the Federal Government’s agreement to return the gas supply management to Sabah.

This saw the setting up of the Energy Commission of Sabah (ECoS) in December last year that was enforced on Jan 10 this year, said Juhar.

He said the state government would continue to improve and boost its financial management and diversify its revenue generating efforts to bring Sabah’s economy to greater heights.

On the contributions from government-linked companies (GLCs), he said dividends shared to the government were also among the major financial contributors to the state.

"Sabah received RM152mil in dividends from GLCs in 2022 compared with RM116.35mil in 2021, an increase of 30% and

I’m sure this number will grow in coming years," said Juhar.

He urged all GLCs to keep pushing for improvement in their operations, human resource management, and boost income generation.

He called for all statutory bodies, state agencies and departments to focus on staying on the right track in their daily operations so that their objectives, vision and mission can be achieved in line with government policies.

Juhar said the state government would continue to bring additional equities in investments on sectors that had potential to bring dividends and returns to the state.

Towards the end of his opening remarks, he thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the King for extending his term as Sabah Head of State.

He also urged leaders and the people in Sabah to continue supporting and working with the Federal Government in realising all policies and programmes for the nation.

In supporting the Budget 2023, Juhar said the various allocations given to Sabah for its social and economic development were a commitment from the Federal Government to the state’s wellbeing.

He also thanked security forces in the state for their continued dedication, commitment and services to the people and the government.

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