Sabah Pakatan reps withdraw suit against federal govt for 40pc state revenue rights

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 20 — Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) has decided to withdraw its suit against the federal government for its 40 per cent stake in its revenue as per its constitutional state rights.

In a joint statement, the 12 representatives said they had decided not to proceed with the suit due to the positive progress related to the claims under the new federal government after the 15th general election (GE15).

Among the positive steps towards attaining their goal of 40 per cent was the formation of a Malaysia Agreement 1963 Implementation Action Council (MTPMA63) chaired by the prime minister and a technical committee for MTPM63 (Technical Committee) chaired by the deputy prime minister II.

One of the plaintiffs in the originating summons (OS), Penampang MP Datuk Ewon Benedick has been appointed as a permanent member of the MTPMA63 and the technical committee alongside other members from state government whose purpose is to deliver the state rights under MA63.

“Taking into account the progress that has been made and the good things that can be done through the technical committee, we think that this option should be supported as a way to reach the intended objective we set when we filed our OS last year.

“We agree to withdraw our OS but with the liberty to file afresh. If the remaining issues have not been resolved, and could not be agreed upon, we reserve the right to bring this case back to court to pursue any unresolved constitutional rights,” they said in a statement today.

The reasons given for arriving at their decision include the technical committee’s main agenda which is to work on the formula for the 40 per cent to be resolved within 12 months beginning from 18th July 2023, the decision to disclose of the total amount of net revenue collected or derived from Sabah annually, and a new review which is to increase the special grant amount to be given to Sabah.

“What is equally important, this new review shall clearly state as an ‘interim solution’ and as such does not affect Sabah’s right to claim for its special grant to be based on the 40 per cent formulae for the affected years.

“With these developments, two of the three declarations we sought in our OS have been agreed to and will be implemented soon,” they said.

The 12 elected representatives filed a claim in the High Court in June last year to seek Sabah rights to its entitlement for the return of 40 per cent federal revenue from the state.

The 12 representatives are Ewon, Api Api assemblyman Datuk Christina Liew, Tanjong Papat assemblyman Datuk Frankie Poon, Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Madius Tangau, former Putatan MP Awang Hussaini Sahari, Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin, Luyang assemblyman Ginger Phoong Jin zhe, Kepayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang, Inanam assemblyman Peto Galim, Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt, Sandakan MP Vivian Wong and former Tenom MP Noorita Sual.

Their lawyer Datuk Nelson Angang had said they were seeking a declaration under Article 112C and Section 2(1) of Part IV of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.