KOTA KINABALU: Sabah must be more firm in fighting for its rights, especially when getting announced allocations, says Tungku assemblyman Assafal Alian.
He said Sabah cannot depend on its “good relations” with the federal government and continues to trust and wait for what rightfully belongs to the state.
He said this kind of relation and “goodwill” put Sabah in the backward position it is in now, where developments are delayed, allocations are shortchanged and even rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are not fulfilled.
“We must make these a legal obligation for the federal government to adhere to so that what is ours are given accordingly,” Assafal said at the state legislative assembly on Wednesday (Nov 28).
He urged the state to recheck the state and federal constitutions to ensure that Sabah is included in matters such as these for the development and well-being of the state.
Sabah Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who is also Karanaan assemblyman, said he took this advice as a form of motivation for state leaders to do their jobs better and said that to reach a common goal, unity amongst leaders was vital.
In responding to calls for allocations to be given directly to the state after an announcement, he said a trust fund should be set up in the cases when funds received are not used fully because of project issues so it would not have to be returned to the federal government.
Masidi also reiterated the state’s commitment to its continuous fight to get back the 40% net revenue owed to the state.
He said the state received the interim payment of about RM300mil a few days ago, but the fight and call for the 40% to be returned will continue until it is returned.