KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government cannot continually defer full payment of its obligation to return and reimburse Sabah’s rights to 40% of federal government’s revenue derived from Sabah.
Datuk James Ligunjang former Assemblyman for Petagas said it was constitutionally guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.
It has been denied to us for the last 55 years, he said.
According to him the 40% entitlement on Sabah revenue was one of the most important term agreed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 to enable Sabah to get its parity in terms of development with the Federation of Malaya.
The slow progress of Sabah’s development in the last 55 years can be attributed fully to the short changing by the Federal Government of this provision in the Federal Constitution, he said
“The Finance Minister’s assertion that it can only consider giving back Sabah’s 40% entitlement when the Federal Government financial position improves is tantamount to violating the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution,” he said.
He added that the federal revenue collected from Sabah belongs to the people of Sabah and 40% is constitutionally guaranteed to be returned to Sabah for its much needed funding to develop the economy of the state .
“Sabah would not have become the poorest State in the Federation of Malaysia if the Federal Government had been an honest broker and sincere in its obligations to the terms in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.”— LSK/BNN