40% revenue rights: Warisan tells Sabah govt to clarify if it authorised counsel to act on its behalf


KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan questions the last-minute appearance of the Sabah government's counsel, Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad, in the 40% special interim grant provisions court case between the Sabah Law Society (SLS) and the Federal Government.

"It is very important not only for Sabahans but also the Court to know whether Fuad was appointed by the state government," said Warisan supreme council member Chen Ket Chiun in a statement here on Saturday (May 18).

Chen said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor subsequently issued a statement the following day to reassert the state's position on the 40% but made no direct mention of Fuad's involvement in the court case.

He added that Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also GRS deputy chairman, had claimed in an online news portal on Friday (May 17) that Fuad had no legal standing to act on behalf of the state in the case as he was not appointed to do so.

"What the government should do now is to get the state AG to appear for the state government in the upcoming hearings, not Fuad," Chen said.

Following the state's intervention, the Court of Appeal reserved its judgement on Thursday (May 16) in the Federal Attorney General's appeal against the High Court's decision to grant SLS leave to challenge the 40% special interim grant provisions.

On Nov 11, 2022, Justice Ismail Brahim granted SLS application for leave for the judicial review. The judge ruled that SLS had the locus standi to apply for judicial review because it was a public interest litigation.

Justice Ismail also found that SLS’ case concerned a breach of constitutional duty to pay the 40% entitlement for the “lost years” (1974–2021).

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