KOTA KINABALU: Young leaders in the state are supporting the positive efforts made by UPKO president Datuk Ewon Benedick on the proposed framework for the payment mechanism of the 40 percent revenue paid to Sabah.
The general consensus is that UPKO and Ewon have proven to be part of the solution by taking proactive steps to come up with the framework, which required countless hours of diligence and consideration before being finalised and presented to the Chief Minister earlier this week.
UPKO Putatan division secretary Mark Silak said a lot of hard work has been put into the proposed framework and that praise should be given to UPKO and to Ewon specifically for taking initiative.
“It took a lot of effort and many hours of deliberation and compiling of data for UPKO to eventually put together a proper framework, and I think some people fail to realise this.
“I consider this very good progress and a move in the right direction for Sabah that UPKO has taken the initiative to come up with a framework for the state and federal governments to consider moving forward with,” he said in a statement here today.
In line with the federal government’s decision to set a one-year period (from July 2023) to finalise the payment mechanism, Mark said it is even commendable that UPKO is able to deliver its own proposed framework well within this period.
“This ensures that there will be no delays in the implementation of the payment of 40 percent of federal revenue to Sabah,” he said.
Towards this end, Mark said there is no need for others to question UPKO’s motives, as it is clearly being done for the betterment of Sabah and the people.
When responding to Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri president Datuk Henrynus Amin’s statement (in the Daily Express today), which called into question UPKO’s motives on the 40% state entitlement under the Malaysia Agreement, Mark said it was a matter of perspective.
“He (Henrynus) should see things from different angles so that he can see the whole picture. It would be better if he played a role and was part of the solution for the greater benefit of Sabah than playing the blame game,” Mark said.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Putatan Branch vice head Victor Ong said there was no harm for UPKO to take the initiative to come up with the framework and propose it to the Chief Minister.
He sees it from a positive perspective and disagrees with anyone who would take a stance against UPKO and Ewon on this matter.
“It is their own initiative, and I think it is a very good one. They gathered some Sabah leaders in a roundtable discussion and took the proper channel by presenting it to the CM instead of directly going to the federal government. I do not see any reason why anyone would be suspicious of that,” he said.
Victor went on to say that any good effort from Sabah leaders for the benefit of Sabahans should be supported and not condemned just because of differences in political views.
KDCA Youth Council Chairman Steve Johnny Mositun also had praise for UPKO and Ewon. He has no problem acknowledging the good work of any leader, irrespective of their political affiliations or views.
“I think what UPKO has done here is very good and positive. It negates the possibility of delays in terms of implementation, which is probably more than what we can say of others who have only been watching from the sidelines.