Sabah Government calculates 40% net revenue entitlement due to delayed response from Putrajaya, says Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government took the initiative to calculate its 40% net revenue entitlement to compensate for the delayed response from the Federal Government.

Describing the figures as "good", Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the proposed facts and figures are pending review and endorsement from the Sabah Cabinet.

Kitingan said the issue was among the highlights discussed during a technical meeting on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is also responsible for the affairs of Sabah and Sarawak.

"This issue is very important for Sabah. We want a resolution (on the 40% net revenue) before the deadline on July 18 ... but we cannot achieve this without the basis of facts. The state government has requested the data from the federal government eight times, however, we have not received them.

"They collect (revenue from Sabah) but don't tell us. So since they don't give (the data), we take the initiative to do it. We will submit it to Putrajaya after it is reviewed and endorsed by the state government in its next Cabinet meeting," he said.

Kitingan, however, declined to reveal the "good figure."

He added that even having a Sabahan representative in the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) does not provide the state government access to federal revenue collection.

"Even if he (Sabah representative in IRB) has (the federal revenue collection data), he cannot be the one who gives the data to us.

"It needs to be given by the Federal Government, but he can verify the data," he told a press conference at the state-level Kaamatan festival at Hongkod Koisaan in Penampang on Wednesday (May 29).

Kitingan, however, hoped their data would be a good beginning towards resolving the long-standing issue.

"We need to have a decision, and it should come from both sides. We can propose, while they listen, and they can make a counter-proposal for us to consider.

"If we cannot agree on a decision, then the matter would be referred to an independent assessor," he said.

Kitingan said they also touched on various issues including Borneonisation, tourism, power, the return of unused land by the federal government, education and security during the meeting.

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