Hornbill Unleashed

April 3, 2018

State govt asked to reveal details concerning special grant review

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Image result for see chee how imagesThe Sarawak State government has been asked to reveal the details of the outcome of the meeting concerning the review of the special grant that was agreed during the second National Steering Committee meeting on the Devolution of Powers to Sabah and Sarawak which was held in Kuala Lumpur on last Thursday, co-chaired by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

In making the call, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How said Anifah, who is from Sabah, had issued a statement to disclose that the Federal Attorney-General had agreed that the constitutional review of Sabah’s 40 per cent (two-fifths) Special Grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution must proceed.

“It is puzzling why the Sarawak State government is quiet over the matter. The reveal for the special grant for Sarawak under section 1 of Part IV of the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution was equally put on ice and remained frozen since 1969,” See, who is Batu Lintang assemblyman, said in a press conference in Miri today.

According to See, Section 1 and 2(1) of Part IV of the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution states:

1. (1) In the case of Sarawak a grant of RM5,800,000 in each year.
(2) In the case of Sarawak, a grant of which the amount in 1964 and each of the four following years shall be respectively RM3.5 million, RM7 million, RM11.5 million, RM16 million and RM21 million, and in later years shall be fixed on a review under Article 112D.

2. (1) In the case of Sabah, a grant of an amount equal in each year to two-fifth of the amount by which the net revenue derived by the Federation from Sabah exceeds the net revenue which would have been so derived in the year 1963 if –
(a) the Malaysia Act had been in operation in that year as in the year 1964; and
(b) the net revenue for the year 1963 were calculated without regard to any alternation of any tax or fee made on or after Malaysia Day;
(“net revenue” meaning for this purpose the revenue which accrues to the Federation, less the amounts received by the State in respect of assignments of that revenue).

Therefore, See said the Sarawak government should not ignore this, because it is a huge sum of money each year of which the state can use to implement substantial infrastructural development projects and provide basic amenities to particularly the communities in rural Sarawak.

“This is because when by 1968, the grant for Sabah should be RM5,179,500, Sarawak’s grant was already RM21 million, four times the grant that is given to Sabah. So whatever it is the review, the increments are progressive but we should still be getting four times more development grant as compare to Sabah, with our land size.

“The silence the Sarawak state government is simply treacherous and unacceptable.”

With the unilateral announcement by Anifah, who is a federal minister, See said he has serious doubt that there is any progress made at all, in the discussions and meetings to devolve powers to Sarawak and Sabah, for the following reasons.

“Firstly, why is it that the reveal for these special grants from the Federation to Sarawak and Sabah are still being discussed, despite the matter being brought up officially by our late former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly in 2015 with the three governments reportedly had set up joint committees to look into the matter?

“It shows more than incompetency on the part of the treasuries and financial ministries of the three governments to work out the figures to be reviewed pursuant to and in accordance with the provision under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

“Secondly, Sarawak, through our Chief Minister, had formally announced that the state government had appointed a deputy chief minister to spearhead a high-powered committee to attend to all meetings and discussions on the devolution of powers to Sarawak.

“The Sabah State government and the Federal government had both agreed to the proposal of the high-power committee, which would have shown that the state government of Sarawak and Sabah are directly involved in the meetings and discussions. Unfortunately, the two East Malaysian States are still represented by their members in the federal cabinet.”

See said the Sarawak and Sabah governments should realise that they cannot leave it to the federal minister to negotiate on the devolution of power and autonomous rights because there will be such grave mistakes and sheer waste of time to look into irrelevant and unnecessary matters as “oil exploration and extraction rights arising under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and the various State laws with which the PDA must operate” as was disclosed by Anifah.

“There is simply no provision in any state ordinances of Sarawak and Sabah to enable the operation of the PDA!”

See said: “I, therefore, do not see any serious political will from the three governments, particularly the federal government, to discuss the matters to devolve and return the autonomous and special rights and powers to Sarawak and Sabah, in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963.”

See said what was revealed Anifah was therefore most disappointing, and should be dismissed as a mere political gambit to placate the Sarawakian and Sabahan voters to vote for the same Umno-led Barisan Nasional federal government in the coming general election.

Source : The Borneo Post Online



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