KOTA KINABALU, July 20 — A day after their salaries were approved for an increase, Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers declared they will use 40 per cent of it to fund an ongoing legal challenge to claim the state’s revenue entitlement against the federal and state governments.
The seven assemblymen from DAP, PKR and Upko said that the salary increment would allow them to fully utilise any potential appeals up to the federal court in demanding for Sabah rights.
"We will also use the increase in this allowance to cover costs of the 40 per cent revenue entitlement suit and will make full use of the platform up to the Federal Court in claiming these rights of Sabah," they said in a joint statement today.
The statement was signed by Datuk Christina Liew (Api-Api) and Peto Galim (Inanam) from PKR; Datuk Frankie Poon (Tanjung Papat), Phoong Jin Zhe (Luyang), Tan Lee Fatt (Likas), and Jannie Lasimbang (Kapayan) from DAP; and Upko's Datuk Ewon Benedick (Kadamaian).
On June 3, Sabah PH assemblymen and MPs filed an Originating Summons in the High Court here to demand the implementation of 40 per cent of federal revenue in Sabah as stipulated in Article 112 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.
The Sabah assembly yesterday passed a Bill to increase the wages of the state governor, ministers, assistant ministers, and assemblymen by 40 per cent.
Some Opposition lawmakers voiced concern over the salary increment at a time when regular Malaysians are struggling with steeply rising living costs, but the Bill sailed through the assembly by voice vote.
The increase in remuneration for state assemblymen amounts to RM3,180 — from RM7,950 to RM11,130.
The Sabah PH assemblymen also urged the state government to carry out reforms in the state assembly to justify the increase in Sabah lawmakers’ remunerations.
Among the reforms they suggested were creating an inter-party committee to demand for state rights to be fulfilled and increasing the number of assembly sittings.
Additionally, some of the proposed reforms entail forming a special select committee under the state assembly to serve as a check and balance for all Sabah ministries, calling for the involvement of local assemblymen in the district disaster committees, and introducing a new enactment for fair development allocation in all state constituencies.