1970 Gazette was a public document, but STAR demands full formal review

KOTA KINABALU: The 1970 First Review Order under Article 112D on Sabah’s revenue was a publicly available document, not a covert attempt by the federal government to amend the Federal Constitution.


Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) President Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he was surprised that Parti Warisan Sabah is uninformed of the document, while being in the Sabah government for 27 months.

“There was nothing secret about the amendment order; it was published in the government official gazette.
Unfortunately, what happened in the parliament yesterday was nothing more than a show put on by Warisan MPs Datuk Azis Jamman and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis,” he said in a statement here today.

Kitingan who is also the Deputy Chief Minister said the 1970 Review Order was scheduled to be followed by a second review in 1974, but it never happened.

When the review was made in 1969, the 40 per cent net revenue for Sabah was estimated to be roughly RM22 million. As a result, the agreed-upon review sum of RM20 million at the time, with 7.5 per cent annual increase, was an acceptable number.

After 48 years however, that sum should have been far larger than RM26.7 million.

“That is why the GRS government rejects the ‘solution’ made by Warisan and the previous PH government of RM52 million.

“If we agreed to the amount, that means we accept that the federal government can circumvent the federal constitution and pay us a pittance, while claiming to have fulfilled their obligation,” he said.

This time, he said the Sabah government is demanding a proper formal review rather than an ad hoc review or relying on executive orders from the sitting prime minister.

“This review is mandatory according to the Constitution. It must be held between governments rather than through the Joint Consultative Committee. It must be between heads of the States, not members of some committees. The Prime Minister and the Sabah Chief Minister must be present at the table.

“We demand not only a financial review for the full payment of the 40 per cent of the revenue derived by the Federal government in Sabah, but also the repayment of the arrears based on the previous agreed formula, namely a 7.5 per cent increase since 1974.

“According to my calculations, the compounding amount of 7.5 per cent this year will yield about RM1 billion. The full payment of the 40 per cent revenue might be in billions.

“This is why in my parliament speech recently, I expressed my hope that the payment referred to by Minister of Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili which is five times the RM26.7 million, does not prejudice our constitutional rights to the 40 per cent revenue,” he said.

Nonetheless, Kitingan stated that if it is shown that the federal government is attemptingn to encroach on Sabah’s right, STAR will not hesitate to back Warisan.

“We are after all Sabahans first. But in this instance, Warisan, particularly Azis and Munirah need to admit that they have misread the issue,” he concluded.

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