KOTA KINABALU: A roundtable secretariat comprising members of all political parties in Sabah should be set up to fight for the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Sabah Umno.
Its election director Jeffrey Nor Mohamed (pic) said such a secretariat would discuss issues relating to MA63 and fine-tune the 40% net revenue entitlement for the state.
“Sabah Umno can chair this secretariat, seeing that we are both a local and national party and is the largest party in the coalition at the federal level,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Such a secretariat, he added, would bring benefit for the state and ensure all rights under MA63 can be fulfilled.
“A roundtable secretariat is the best move for all parties in Sabah to find a solution on this matter, especially with regard to the 40% net revenue payment owed to Sabah.
“Sabah Umno is adamant to fight for the rights of Sabahans and it is our priority to ensure we get what we are entitled to,” Jeffrey said, adding that it would be irresponsible for them not to voice up.
He said the impact would not be as huge or significant should this matter be brought up by only the four Sabah MPs.
“If we were all to stand up and unite to speak for one common goal, it would give a bigger impact to the claim – as long as no one tries to be the champion of heroes in this matter,” he said.
Four Sabah MPs, led by Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Madius Tangau, asked about a government gazette on the interim payment to Sabah instead of giving the 40% owed.
Madius asked for an explanation for this gazette and the formula used to come up with a sum of RM300mil in interim payment given to the state recently.
“There is no need to point fingers at anyone.
“All of us know that this claim was made together when we were in the same government in the past,” Jeffrey said, adding that it is time to move forward to resolve the issue.
Former state assemblyman Datuk James Ligunjang urged the Federal Government not to cast any further doubt on Sabahans’ unwavering determination to obtain their rights under MA63.
Ligunjang, who is an activist for Sabah rights, said it is vital that the Federal Government honour its commitment to the state.
This, he said, is an essential step for Sabah to overcome its current state of underdevelopment and proceed towards progress.