Warisan’s Smokescreen Taints Sabah’s Progress

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan appears resolute in its efforts to tarnish the accomplishments of the GRS-led Sabah government by disseminating a misleading narrative regarding federal grants allocations to Sabah.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai commended the GRS Government under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor for procuring an unprecedented RM125.6 million in federal grants for Sabah, a staggering 4.7 times increase relative to the allocations since 1976. Moreover, this allocation will escalate annually through 2026.

“Regrettably, Warisan has endeavoured to trivialise this milestone by juxtaposing it with Sarawak’s RM300 million allocation, employing deceptive gaslighting tactics, as this comparison is both misleading and baseless,” he said.

Additionally, Bangkuai vehemently refuted Warisan’s groundless accusation that GRS is responsible for Sabah relinquishing its rights to 40% net revenue derived from the state.

“This is patently false. The right is enshrined in the Federal Constitution, and it remains intact. It is reprehensible for anyone to resort to such deceitful tactics,” he said.

Remarkably, Bangkuai noted that just a few years ago, Warisan seemed content to accept a modest sum in lieu of the 40% net revenue rights for Sabah.

He cited that in his 2020 state budget speech, Warisan president Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal openly acknowledged that the then Sabah government had accepted the Federal Government’s proposal to incrementally increase the Special Grant from RM26.7 million to RM53.4 million by 2020 and RM106.8 million within the next five years.

“It is therefore appropriate for Minister Datuk Armizan Ali to urge the state government to disclose the 2019 correspondence to the Finance Ministry, which would clarify the matter concerning the rate of special grants to Sabah,” he said.

Bangkuai who is also the GRS information chief highlighted that Warisan’s unyielding scrutiny emerges coincidentally with GRS government’s recent notable accomplishments.

“Sabah is set to reclaim its authority to regulate electricity, a move poised to fortify the state’s autonomy and foster development.

“Additionally, the GRS government attained a supermajority in a recent state constitutional amendment concerning the anti-hopping law in Sabah, reflecting robust confidence in GRS governance.

“Moreover, GRS has made substantial progress in addressing the persistent water challenges that have afflicted Sabah for years, an issue that Warisan’s leadership appears to have conveniently neglected,” he said.

Bangkuai observed that Warisan persists with its fixation on federal grant allocation, even resorting to the distribution of subpar infographics to seize public attention.

“This deceitful strategy belittles the people of Sabah, who merit open and truthful communication from their elected representatives,” he said.

Bangkuai called upon Warisan to recognise GRS government’s historical achievements and advocate for constructive dialogue centred on Sabah’s welfare and progress.

“Sabahans deserve cognisance of the comprehensive advancements taking place. It’s crucial for political dialogue to be grounded in veracity and authentic devotion to public welfare, rather than employing manipulative schemes,” he concluded.

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