KOTA KINABALU, June 9 — The Sabah Law Society (SLS) today filed a suit seeking the retraction of Putrajaya’s decision to gazette an annual grant for Sabah as it goes against the state’s constitutional rights for a stipulated revenue under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
This comes after an announcement from the federal and state governments, on April 14 this year, of a special five-year annual grant for RM125.6 million for Sabah from this year.
The order was then published in the Federal Gazette on April 20 under Article 112D.
SLS, who filed the suit against the federal government today through lawyers J Marimuttu & Partners, said that both the announcement and the publication in the Gazette as an Order 112D was in clear breach of Article 112C, read together with Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution as well as Article 112C.
The Sabah government, according to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, had agreed to the grant on a non-binding basis, but would pursue the 40 per cent return in revenue that the state was entitled to.
In its suit, the SLS said that it wanted to be granted leave to apply for an order of certiorari at the High Court for the purpose of quashing the gazette.
It was also seeking a declaration that Putrajaya’s failure to hold a second review within the year 1974 was a breach and contravention of its constitutional duty stipulated under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.
According to a statement sent by SLS, the agreement was not done in accordance with the constitutional provisions for the revenue due to the state under the Federal Constitution and the federal government was duty bound to continue paying the 40 per cent.
“The 40 per cent entitlement remains due and payable by the Respondent to the State Government of Sabah for each consecutive financial year for the period from the year 1974 to the year 2021.
“Failure to pay the 40 per cent entitlement by the Respondent to the State Government of Sabah for each consecutive financial year for the period from the year 1974 to the year 2021 is a breach of the fundamental right to property of the State Government of Sabah and ultimately of the people of Sabah as enshrined under Article 13 of the Federal Constitution,” the statement read.
The SLS is seeking an order to direct the federal government to hold another review as stipulated within 30 days and to reach a decision within 90 days from the court-ordered date.
Recently, 12 Sabah Pakatan Harapan lawmakers also filed a claim in the High Court seeking Sabah’s rights to its entitlement for the return of the 40 per cent revenue from the state.