UPKO’s Abandonment of Sabah’s 40% Revenue Raises Eyebrows

Estimated read time 4 min read
Social Sharing

RANAU: Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (ANAK NEGERI) has chided Sabah Federal Minister and UPKO President, Datuk Ewon Benedick, for claiming success on the 40% state revenue entitlement issue simply by withdrawing their legal suit on the basis of vague promises made by the Prime Minister.

Henrynus who was commenting on statement yesterday by Ewon on the matter said, “Ewon should build his castle on solid ground, not on the shifting sands of vague Federal promises.”

ANAK NEGERI, he said, was surprised that Ewon and Sabah PH leaders had withdrawn their legal suit on the basis of very flimsy excuses.

“Ewon should be reminded of his pledge during election campaigning in Penampang that he will continue with his legal suit even if Pakatan Harapan is voted into government.”

“Ewon is also reminded that he had reiterated his pledge on the matter during UPKO’s Annual Delegates Conference.”

But he said,”Ewon forgot to consult voters or UPKO delegates when he withdrew his legal suit.”

ANAK NEGERI, he said, supports the Unity Government of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim whom he said is more open to the Sabah issues.

But on the issue of 40% state revenue entitlement, he said, Anwar must be reminded of Federal obligation to fulfill all promises and guarantees enshrined in Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution.

He said “The action taken by the 12 Sabah PH leaders withdrawing their legal suit at the most critical point when another legal suit on the same matter by Sabsh Law Association (SLS) was about to be heard by the High Court may have sent the wrong signals to the Federal Government

Henrynus also rejected the argument that Sabah PH leaders withdrew their legal suit due to conflict of interest after Ewon was appointed a Federal Minister.

He said may be Ewon has a genuine case to withdraw his legal suit as he sits in the Federal Cabinet, but to drag the entire Sabah PH leaders to follow him is smack of hypocrisy.

“Why should Sabah PH leaders who are mere backbenchers also dropped their legal suit just because they are now holding positions in the State or Federal government?”

He said, ANAK NEGERI was greatly astonished by Ewon’s claim of success and him being satisfied with mere Federal promises to appoint a Sabahan into the Internal Revenue Board (IRB) purportedly to obtain data on Federal revenue accrued in Sabah.

“Ewon seemed to forget that a local Sabahan from Ranau, Datuk Sabin Samitah, was once appointed Director General of IRB just a few years ago,” said Henrynus who was a former Kinabalu (now Ranau) Member of Parliament.

“It is good and desirable, but appointing Sabahans into the IRB to obtain data on Federal revenue accrued in Sabah is not necessary and is definitely not the desired solution.”

He said, as a Federal Cabinet Minister, Ewon can easily ask or write a letter to IRB and other relevant federal agencies to furnish the required information.

He said it is even more absurd that Ewon is satisfied with replacing the controversial Federal Gazette dated 20 April 2022 with a new one with an increase allocation and the words, “interim solution” inserted on it.

Henrynus said Ewon seemed not well versed with the real issue. “It is not about increasing the amount of allocation or inserting the words “interim solution” but rather enforcing Federal compliance of the 40% formula under the relevant laws in the Fedetal Constitution.”

“The mere increase of state entitlement or inserting the words, ” interim solution” is not the desired solution.”

He said it is hillarious that Ewon was satisfied with the 40% state revenue entitlement issue just because it is now on the Federal agenda.

He said, “The 40% state revenue entitlement is not only in the Federal agenda but also enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“The real solution is not to put the issue on the Federal agenda, but to enforce Federal compliance of the 40% formula.

He said ANAK NEGERI was horrified to read that Ewon has justified the long delay in fulfilling the 40% claim till July next year.

“It begs the question why resolve or fulfill the 40% state revenue entitlement in July next year, not in October this year.

You May Also Like