KOTA KINABALU: President of Sabah Law Society, Roger Chin Ken Fong stresses on the parameter that should be used to set the amount of Special Grant for Sabah is by referring to 40% Net Revenue as stipulated in article 112C Federal Constitution.
According to him, despite the ability to debate on the issue of Sabah’s special grant that is provided in article 112D, however, it does not explain in more depth on how to review the amount.
“I do agree 112D does not say how you review the thing. Right, so it seems to me that you would go in, you would negotiate, but how do you negotiate? Obviously there has to be a starting point right?
“There must be something that grounds us. There must be some parameters that we all need to adhere to when we are doing this review.
“So obviously the parameter that has been given is article 112C. It talks about the 40% net revenue and again like I said, I must stress, when you go into review, it is not free for all, you cannot ask for whatever you want to ask for neither can the state government come to you and say ‘I give you zero’,” said Roger.
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.
Furthermore, he added that an independent assessor would have to assess on the issue if agreement between both sides (State and Federal Government) cannot be achieved, however should still refer to article 112C in the Federal Constitution.
“If you cannot agree what happens? Obviously, it goes to the independent assessor.
“How is the independent assesssor come to an assessment? The parameters should be starting point of 40%, and from the 40% you can then go to any other figure that you want to, but the starting point obviously has to be the 40%. Where you end up is entirely up to negotiations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Roger also stated that the special grant is not entirely tied only to money but paying through instalments can also be negotiated if the government faces financial constraints.
“It can be paid by instalments or Payment-In-Kind (PIK) such as equity in PETRONAS or FELDA and so on,” said Roger.