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Clarify whether Fuad was instructed to act: Warisan
Published on: Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Clarify whether Fuad was instructed to act: Warisan
Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (left) and Chin Tek Ming.
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor should clarify whether the GRS-led State Government had given instructions to Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad to submit to the Court of Appeal that the 40 per cent special grant revenue is an aspirational revenue and not mandatory or absolute right. 

Its Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis said the clarification is necessary in view that such submission may impede Sabah’s position in future when asserting itself in relation to the 40 per cent Special Grant. 

“I have gone through the statement by the Chief Minister dated 17 May 2024 and while he confirmed that the State Government will never give up Sabah’s constitutional rights in relation to the 40 per cent entitlement including the claims for the ‘lost years’, he (Hajiji) is silent on whether the special grant is aspirational or not. 

Warisan believed that defining the 40 per cent Special Grant Revenue (whether it is aspirational or absolute right) is crucial because such view or definition would form the basis in the Federal Government’s proposals in future negotiations with the State Government especially the manner of repayment more so when such view or definition was actually submitted by counsel acting for the State Government in a Court of Appeal. 

“This also creates the impression that the current State Cabinet is fully aware that the State Government view the 40 per cent Special Grant Revenue as aspirational and not absolute right,” she said in a statement Saturday. 

Munirah said Warisan rejects any attempt to define the special grant revenue as “aspirational” because the party believed this is not what the founding fathers of Sabah wanted in the first place when agreeing to form the Federation of Malaysia.

“We believe the signatories were very clear on this matter whereby 40 per cent of the total tax collected by the Federal Government in Sabah must be returned to the State in form of cash payment.

“Hence, this is a straight-forward accounting matter with no ‘aspirational’ ideas in it. 

“Warisan also rejects any new formula arising from the definition ‘aspirational’ and I will raise this issue at the next Dewan Rakyat session as a reminder to those whose sits in the MA63 Technical Committee not to deviate from the original intention and spirit of the formation of Malaysia. 

“Our greatest concern is that another gazette may be signed without our knowledge in the future on the basis that the special grant is ‘aspirational’ and the deafening silence by the current State Cabinet Ministers on the contention by the State Government’s counsel only reinforces this possibility.

“All Sabahans must reject this subtle attempt to define the 40 per cent Special Grant Revenue as ‘aspirational’ and we must make sure that the future State Governments do not inherit the blunder by today’s Government,” she said. 

Warisan’s Chin Tek Ming criticised the contradiction in statements made by Fuad and the official stance of the State Government. 

He described both statements as confusing, misleading or rather non-statements and demanded an explanation from the CM.

“In one instance, Fuad asserted that the 40pc revenue is an ‘aspiration’ and not an absolute right. On the other hand, the State Government later stated its position goes beyond merely an ‘aspiration’.

“Can Hajiji explain whether the State Government is playing a two-faced or two-headed snake game?” Chin said in a press statement.

Chin also criticised the State Government for its lack of clarity and communication, citing the failure to properly instruct its lawyer or brief them on the submissions made in court.

He also questioned the role of the State Attorney General, Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof, as she is capable with a team of experienced State Counsel who can handle this case but chose to remain silent. 

Chin said the problem could be easily resolved if the Prime Minister, who also serves as Finance Minister, is genuinely committed to implementing Sabah’s special grant under Article 112C and 112D of the Federal Constitution.

“He should just instruct the Attorney General to immediately withdraw the appeal and allow the merits of the matter to be heard in the High Court. 

“After all, this is not a criminal matter where the Attorney General has unfettered discretion. In fact, there’s no need to waste more time; just pay the 40pc special grant and close the case!” Chin said.

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