KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (Anak Negeri) has reiterated its call for the Sabah State Government to introduce and pass a binding resolution in the State Legislative Assembly to endorse state demand for the return of the 40% net federal revenue accrued in Sabah as provided for under Article 112C and Section 1(2), Part IV of the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Commenting on the call by UPKO President Datuk Ewon Benedick for the Sabah State Government to make an official demand on the 40% entitlement, it’s President Datuk Henrynus Amin who said Ewon was correct in making the call.
However, he said, state demand on the matter is best done through a binding resolution in the Sabah State Assembly.
He said the state demand on the 40% entitlement should not be made directly by the Sabah State Cabinet, where the decision would most likely be indecisive, perhaps hampered by vested interests.
He said that as the highest decision-making institution in Sabah, the State Legislative Assembly is the right place for elected political leaders to articulate, debate, and decide on matters affecting state constitutional rights under the Federal Constitution.
He said the recent state and federal decisions on the 40% claim may have significantly affected state rights and interests.
“The State Government should have first brought matter to the State Assembly their decision to accept the payment of RM125.6 million and later increased to RM300 million in lieu of the 40% entitlement for a debate and endorsement,” he said.
“It begs the question of why the GRS Government, including leaders from component political parties such as PBS and Star, were muted and had in fact allowed the Sabah Cabinet to procrastinate in bringing the 40% state financial claim to the State Legislative Assembly.
“Given the repeated calls by local political parties, civil societies, and members of the public, the GRS inaction or indecision has raised serious doubt about their sincerity and commitment in pursuing the 40% state financial entitlement,” he said in a statement here today.
He said the question must be asked why there was no statement issued by the Sabah Chief Minister or any of the GRS senior political leaders on the progress made in their negotiation with the Federal Government on the 40% claim.
Further, he said, it was a bit odd that UPKO, with only one MP seat and one state seat, was assigned the task of Sabah PH spokesman while the rest of the Sabah PH component parties with more seats are muted on the matter.
He said Ewon, who is a Federal Minister, is a young and promising Kadazan political leader, but he will be more trusted and appreciated by all Sabahans if he were able to pursue the matter directly with the Prime Minister, who has the power to commit and mobilise federal resources to fulfil and implement the 40% Sabah entitlement.