Sabah’s 40% revenue rights: State maintains stand on legal and constitutional obligations


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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah maintains its official demand that the federal government meet its legal and constitutional obligations concerning the 40% special grant irrespective of the outcome in the Court of Appeal, said the state Attorney General.

In a statement issued Sunday (May 19), Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof (pic) said this financial entitlement, rooted in the pre-formation negotiations of Malaysia and enshrined in the Federal Constitution, was a non-negotiable right of Sabah.

She said that the Chambers have not stopped and would not stop safeguarding Sabah’s constitutional rights, particularly concerning the 40% Net Revenue special grant enshrined in Articles 112C and 112D of the Federal Constitution.

She said the Chambers have actively participated in all discussions related to this matter with the Sabah Finance Ministry and the federal government.

“Our stance is fully in line with the Chief Minister of Sabah's recent statement affirming the state’s determination."

State’s determination to uphold its constitutional rights and will persist in the fight for all Sabah’s rights as outlined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” Nor Asiah said.

She said the Chambers had been instrumental in these negotiations, ensuring that Sabah's legal and constitutional claims were effectively represented.

“Our consistent efforts are focused on ensuring that the Federal Government adheres to the revenue-sharing formula outlined in the Federal Constitution,” she said.

“This includes seeking compensation for the "lost years" from 1974 to the present when no review of the special grant took place,” said Nor Asiah.

She said the state AG chambers will also take necessary measures to correct any misguided statement that deviated from the state’s clear and formal position on this matter.

On the legal proceedings initiated by the Sabah Law Society (SLS), she said the AG’s Chambers respected the SLS’ right to seek judicial review on this matter, on the basis that public interest litigation was vital for upholding the rule of law and ensuring fair justice.

“Meanwhile, the state AG’s Chambers will take necessary measures to correct any misguided statement that deviates from the state’s clear and formal position,” Nor Asiah stressed.

“The state Attorney-General’s Chambers assures the people of Sabah that we will continue our unwavering pursuit of all rights due to the state under the MA63 and the Federal Constitution,” she said.

This statement comes after Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad, who claimed to be acting on behalf of the state government, had applied to be an intervener and co-appellant in the 40% special grant provisions court case between the Sabah Law Society and the federal government.

Fuad had, among others, argued that if the Sabah government did not intervene, there was a risk that its right to challenge the Federal Government concerning the 40% Special Grant provisions could be extinguished without being heard.

He had also said that the review of the Special Grant under Article 112D(4) was “mandatory but not absolute”.

The Federal Government must grant a review whenever and as required by the Sabah government, he added.

This matter has resulted in many politicians calling for Fuad’s position to be explained and for the state to clarify the matter.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) had said that they would not budge in the fight to get back the 40% grant, while others like Parti Warisan had called for the state to explain Fuad’s actions, as they see this as a hindrance to the fight for state rights.

Sabah Perikatan Nasional chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee had said that this intervention was seen as stopping Sabahans from getting their rights.

He suggested that the state government retract its intervention and review the special grant payment.

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