KOTA KINABALU: The issue on 40% of Sabah’s revenue collected by the Federal government as stipulated in Article 112C of the Federal Constitution is still a hotly debated issue.
According to Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun, the Federal Government and the State Government should conduct an orderly negotiation to resolve this issue.
“However, such negotiations should not extinguish an effect in any way on 40% of Sabah’s rights conferred by article 112C of the Federal Constitution. Special Grant such as Capitation Grant and Road Grant, and 40% net revenue due to Sabah are two separate and different issues.
“If the Federal Constitution is silent or make no reference for the special Grant to be negotiated, I rather leave the Constitution as it is and keep on demanding that the Federal Government honours its constitutional obligation to Sabah,” Simon said.
He said during his talk on the webinar of “Negotiate The Special Grant Conferred by Article 112D Thus Extinguishes Sabah’s 40% Rights Conferred by Article 112C of The Federal Constitution?” that was organized by WISDOM Foundation through Facebook and Zoom recently.
He added, all that is needed is for the Federal Government to comply with the provisions of the Federal Constitution.
“In respect of the 40% net revenue, if the federal government has financial constraint at the moment, payment by instalment would be negotiated,” he said.
As a way forward, the following action can actually be immediately taken whereby the state government inform the federal government the exact amount of areas due to the state government.
”However, there must be a time frame for exercise. As for the current 40% net revenue being collected, it should be diverted to Sabah immediately while the Federal Government takes away the 60%.
“In other words, Sabah should collect the 40% net revenue due to Sabah at source. It saves the Federal Government the trouble of collecting 100% only to return 40% to Sabah later.
“Through this method, Sabah is assured of getting what belongs to Sabah. Past experience indicates that if the Federal Government collects the 100%, It did not do what it was supposed to do. Namely return what was billed to Sabah.
“This might help to improve the financial health of the Sabah government overnight, and the pace of development in Sabah should accelerate considerably and could free Sabah from the vicious cycle of poverty,” said Simon.