KOTA KINABALU: Sabah political leaders criticise Pakatan Harapan’s decision to drop its suit against Putrajaya on entitlements under state rights.
On Wednesday (Sept 20), the 12 Sabah Pakatan representatives, in a joint statement, said the decision was made due to the progress with the claims under the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and assurance by the Federal Government.
Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (PKAN) president Datuk Henrynus Amin, however, questioned the motives and timing of the move to withdraw the originating summons on the 40% state entitlement.
He said withdrawing the suit weakened Sabah's bargaining position. He added that the issue was about the Federal non-compliance to the 40% formula stipulated under Article 112 C and Part IV, Section 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution.
Parti Warisan’s Chin Tek Ming also questions the withdrawal. He said that going ahead with the lawsuit should not be considered a conflict of interest despite some plaintiffs holding government or government-linked company (GLC) positions.
Sabah Pakatan said one of the plaintiffs in its originating summons, Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick, has been appointed a permanent member of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Implementation Action Council (MTPMA63) and the Technical Committee.
They added that the Technical Committee decided that the longstanding entitlement based on the 40% formula would be on its agenda and would be resolved within 12 months from July 18 this year.
“We are also mindful of the legal opinions regarding the legal impediment concerning the position of the plaintiffs as current members of the Federal and state Cabinets, that it is untenable for us to continue this legal action.
“We agree to withdraw our originating summons but with the liberty to file afresh,” they said.
The representatives also said they were informed that a new review would supersede the 2022 review of the special grants to be ready soon.
The Sabah Pakatan leaders said this new review will increase the amount of special grants to Sabah.