KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Pakatan Harapan leaders should not drop their suit over state rights against Putrajaya, says Parti Warisan.
Its president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said the suit had been filed and should have just let the court decide.
“They (Sabah Pakatan) have insisted on fighting for these rights by filing the lawsuit.
“Previously, I told them there was no need to bring this to court, but they did it anyway, so they should just let the court decide. Why retract it now?” he asked after chairing the party’s meeting here on Saturday (Sept 30).
Mohd Shafie said state rights were already listed clearly in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) before the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, and it was just a matter of fulfilling what had been promised.
“I am quite disappointed with everything they say now,” he said in response to Sabah Pakatan withdrawing the originating summons (OS) earlier this month.
Last year, 12 Sabah Pakatan representatives filed a claim in the High Court to seek Sabah rights to its entitlement for the return of 40% federal revenue from the state.
Among others, they seek a declaration that Sabah is entitled to 40% of revenue from the Federal Government from the state annually to be “respected and delivered” as stated in the Constitution.
In the OS filed against the government of Malaysia and the government of Sabah, they also sought for the Federal Government to disclose the amount of net revenue it derives from Sabah annually.
The 12 Pakatan representatives are Datuk Christina Liew, Datuk Ewon Benedick, Datuk Frankie Poon, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau, Awang Hussaini Sahari, Chan Foong Hin, Phoong Jin zhe, Jannie Lasimbang, Peto Galim, Tan Lee Fatt, Vivian Wong and Noorita Sual.
Mohd Shafie said the other option now is to wait for a similar suit filed by Sabah Law Society and the court’s decision.
He said when Warisan spoke about the MA63 in parliament, it did not mean that they were very critical but concerned and needed to remind their counterparts how Sabah and Sarawak played their role in forming the country.
Mohd Shafie said the formula for calculating this 40% revenue tax owed needed to be finalised by the government and that the money owed to Sabah and Sarawak could have been used for many developments.
He said the two states are still far behind in various aspects, especially in healthcare and education, compared to peninsula Malaysia.
”The government cannot keep delaying the payment of what is owed to Sabah by harping on government debts or the lack of funds to fulfil the MA63.
“But money for the Penang bridge, you have instead?” asked Shafie.