Warisan pledges 'unshakeable support' for SLS in fight for 40% revenue rights

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan will continue to support the efforts of the Sabah Law Society (SLS) in upholding constitutional rights of Sabahans.

The party said its support had not wavered since SLS initiated legal action in 2022 to seek a judicial review of the Review Order 2022 on Sabah's Special Grant.

The party said it acknowledged and held in high esteem the crucial role SLS plays in pursuing what is essentially a 40% constitutional entitlement to Sabah.

"Under Article 112C and Section 2 of Part IV in the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Government has a constitutional duty to pay an annual special grant to Sabah," Warisan said in a statement on Monday (May 20).

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"It stipulates that the special grant for Sabah is 'an amount equal in each year to two-fifths of the amount by which the net revenue derived by the federation from Sabah exceeds the net revenue which would have been so derived in the year 1963'," Warisan added.

It said furthermore, that the obligation to pay Sabah's 40% entitlement was contingent upon a review of these payments as outlined in Article 112D.

"Sabah's Special Grant is therefore a fundamental right and Warisan is committed to upholding these constitutional principles as they are the cornerstone of our democracy and the rule of law.

"Warisan is steadfast in our belief that these fundamental rights and principles are not negotiable. Our support for the SLS and its efforts is unshakeable and will remain so," it said.

As such, Warisan supreme council member Azhar Matussin said a clear answer was forthcoming as to whether or not state-appointed lawyer Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad was instructed to intervene on behalf of the Sabah government over SLS' bid for a judicial review.

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He said if not, then Fuad has no right to attend a hearing on Friday (May 24) at which the Court of Appeal is expected to deliver its verdict on the Attorney General's appeal against a High Court decision to grant SLS leave to challenge the 40% special constitutional grant provisions.

He also said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor should clarify Fuad's argument in court recently, where he said that the review of the Special Grant under Article 112D(4) was "mandatory but not absolute".

"If this was Fuad's statement and does not represent the state's stand on the 40% grant rights, then the Chief Minister must come out and say it," Azhar said.

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