Sabah Pakatan voices support for state govt move to drop challenge in 40% revenue entitlement appeal

KOTA KINABALU: Pakatan Harapan has backed the Sabah government’s move to drop its challenge against the position of the Sabah Law Society (SLS) in the society’s 40% special grant court case against the Federal Government in the Court of Appeal.

This comes amid questions raised by United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) president Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia over the silence of Pakatan leaders in the state Cabinet on the matter.

In a statement by the Sabah Pakatan leadership council on Saturday (May 25), the coalition said that as part of the state government, they supported the position and stance taken by Sabah concerning SLS’s court action.

The council stated that they fully understood and respected the decision taken by SLS in bringing Sabah’s 40% constitutional rights to court in their judicial review application.

Sabah Pakatan had in 2022 also initiated a court action against the federal and state governments by way of originating summons to claim for Sabah's 40% constitutional right to be respected and implemented.

"Sabah Pakatan, now being part of the federal and state government, is determined to ensure that the matter is resolved through the Implementation Action Council and the Technical Committee (MA63 Committee) headed by the Prime Minister and the second Deputy Prime Minister, respectively," they said.

The council added that Sabah Pakatan viewed positively the continuation of SLS’s action in court, alongside the Federal Government’s commitment to resolve the MA63 matters through the establishment of the MA63 committees with representatives from the Sabah and Sarawak governments.

"Our approach may differ but our goal remains the same, which is to ensure that the constitutional rights of Sabah in the MA63 are fully respected and implemented," the leaders said.

Pandikar had earlier on Saturday questioned the silence of PKR and DAP ministers in the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government over the court case, asking why they were not backing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

The former Dewan Rakyat speaker said they should support Hajiji as the GRS chairman in his stand of not compromising on the state’s 40% entitlement rights under Article 112C and 112D of the Federal Constitution.

He considered the PKR and DAP state ministers to be kowtowing to their bosses in the peninsula if they remained silent over the matter.

Sabah Attorney General Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof had on Friday (May 24) informed the Court of Appeal that the state government was withdrawing its appeal on the High Court’s decision to grant leave to SLS in the case.

This was after a public backlash over the Sabah government’s last-minute intervention in the Federal Attorney General's appeal against the High Court decision to grant SLS leave to challenge the 40% special interim grant provisions on May 16.

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