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Sabah Pakatan Harapan hail verdict: open to options
Published on: Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Sabah Pakatan Harapan hail verdict: open to options
Our report on June 19. - Malay Mail pic (above) for illustration only.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) welcomes the recent decision by the Court of Appeal allowing the Sabah Law Society (SLS) to proceed with judicial review proceedings regarding the special grant entitled to Sabah under the Federal Constitution.

The Sabah PH Leadership Council said the decision marks a significant step in ensuring Sabah receives its fair share as constitutionally mandated.

“We believe that the judicial review proceedings are crucial for addressing this matter and are committed to supporting this legal process until its final resolution,” said the Council, Wednesday. 

However, the Council said PH remains open to exploring alternative amicable solutions to resolve this longstanding issue between Sabah and the Federal Government. 

“We are hopeful that the discussions and negotiations through the MA63 committees can finally lead to the acknowledgement and delivery of Sabah 40 per cent entitlement. Pakatan Harapan stands firm in advocating for justice and equity and will continue to support initiatives that uphold these principles.”

Sabah PH comprises PKR, DAP, Amanah and Upko.

On Tuesday, the Federal Attorney-General’s appeal against leave granted to the SLS regarding the State’s 40-per cent special grant was dismissed.

The Federal AG appealed the High Court’s decision on Nov 11, 2022, to grant leave to SLS for judicial review against the Federal Government’s failure to review the 40-per cent special grant due to Sabah under the Federal Constitution.

On Sept 20, 2023, the Kota Kinabalu High Court struck out the suit filed by 12 Sabah PH representatives regarding the State’s 40 per cent constitutional entitlement to revenue derived by the Federal Government from Sabah.

High Court Judge Datuk Ismail Brahim made the decision during the Zoom mention of the matter as the plaintiffs had withdrawn the action.

Counsel Nelson Angang, representing the plaintiffs, informed the media that the court ordered the matter to be struck off with no order as to costs and with the liberty to file afresh.

The 12 plaintiffs were PH Members of Parliament (MPs) and assemblymen, namely Datuk Ewon Benedick, Datuk Christina Liew, Datuk Frankie Poon, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Awang Hussaini Sahari, Chan Foong Hin, Phoong Jin Zhe, Jannie Lasimbang, Peto Galim, Tan Lee Fatt, Vivian Wong, and Noorita Sual.

The plaintiffs filed the Originating Summons (OS) on June 3, 2022, naming the Federal Government and the State Government as the first and second defendants, respectively.

They were seeking a court order that the Federal Government recognise and deliver Sabah’s constitutional rights as provided under Article 112C and Section 2(1) of Part IV of the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

The constitutional rights provided that Sabah had special rights to receive special grants, which amounted to two-fifths (40 per cent formulae) of the Federation’s net revenue derived from Sabah.

The 12 Sabah PH plaintiffs were reported as agreeing to withdraw the OS after considering the progress achieved through the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) implementation technical co mmittee but with the liberty to file afresh.

They reportedly said that if the remaining issues have not been resolved and cannot be agreed upon, they reserve the right to bring this case back to court to pursue any unresolved constitutional rights, as provided for in the MA63.

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