GRS govt failed the people in handling Sabah's 40% revenue rights issue, says Kiandee

KOTA KINABALU: The inconsistent stance of the Sabah government on the 40% revenue rights issue at the Court of Appeal has compromised the rights of the people, says Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

The Bersatu vice-president said it was clear that the people of Sabah could no longer rely on the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led state government to fight for their rights in obtaining a 40% revenue share.

"The inconsistent and tangled stance of the government has compromised and harmed the people of Sabah regarding their rights," he said in a statement on Saturday (May 25).

Kiandee believed that the state government was backtracking its position after being stopped by political and public outcry following its bid to stop the Sabah Law Society (SLS) from seeking a judicial review.

"This is clear when the Sabah government had placed the burden of their mistakes on the appointed lawyer Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad," he said.

Kiandee, who is Sabah Bersatu chairman, made his statement after Sabah Attorney General Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yacob terminated the legal services of Fuad from Messrs F.T. Ahmad and Co and retracted all submissions he made at the appeals court on Friday (May 24).

"It is very clear that whatever the lawyer argued in the previous proceedings is the Sabah government's argument and position unless the lawyer's statement is challenged by the Sabah Attorney General's team in the next court proceedings," he said.

Kiandee also noted that the appointed lawyer's arguments were consistent with the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor's May 17 statement on the state government's strategy to negotiate with the Federal Government.

"This is contrary to their supposed stance of fighting for the rights of Sabah," he said.

Kiandee also said that the state government was seen to be negligent in assessing the Federal Government's stand on the issue of the 40% claim.

"Even though they admitted in the State Legislative Assembly that they have sent requests eight times to obtain Sabah tax collection data from the Federal Government, these requests have not been accepted by the Federal Government," he added.

On Friday (May 24), Sabah withdrew its bid to stop the November 2022 Kota Kinabalu High Court decision to grant SLS leave for judicial review on the revenue due to the state from the Federal Government under the Constitution.

The Federal Government had appealed against the leave granted to SLS. The Court of Appeal is scheduled to deliver its judgment on June 18.

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