Warisan President insists on 40% revenue return as constitutional

KOTA KINABALU – The federal government’s 40% revenue return is a constitutional clause that does not require further negotiation, according to Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, president of the Parti Warisan.

Shafie said that the Federal Government should now enforce the Constitution, and return 40% of federal revenues to the states.

It is already in the Constitution. There is no need to negotiate. “If they cannot pay, tell us when and how you can pay,” he said to reporters on Sunday (9 June) after attending the Warisan Pesta Kaamatan festivities at Buhavan Square.

Shafie responded to a query about Prime Minister Datuk seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement that Sabah’s revenue return of 40% was exceeded by the federal budget for Sabah, which was RM16bil.

Shafie stated that the federal budget and the constitutional 40% revenue return to Sabah cannot be combined.

He said that RM16bil is the commitment of the federal government to the areas of security, education, health and other federally listed areas, not the responsibility or the state.

Shafie added that Article 112C & 112D of Constitution provides for the return of 40% of revenue to Sabah.

He said Sabah’s founder fathers sought to include the revenue return clause in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

In his earlier speech, he said that Sabah was in dire need of money to address its poverty and basic needs like roads, water, electricity and other necessities.

He warned Sabahans against racial and religious-based politics as they were divisive.

“Race and Religion should not be Used for Political Gain,” he said. He added that Sabahans as a multiethnic, multireligious society must focus on development to the benefit of everyone.

He said that no one chose to be a member of a certain race. They are born into it. Religion is purely based on individual choice. There is no force. The people should remain united in their state and not be divided by forces that divide them.

“We need a leadership that is focused on the basic needs such as water, electricity and roads.

“Datuk seri Hajiji has been the chief minister for four year. He served as a Barisan Nasional minister from 2003 until 2018 under Tan Sri Musa Aman.

“Yet, our basic needs such as water and electricity still haven’t been met.” Shafie, who questioned the policies of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah Government, said that “issues of extreme poverty still remain”.

He also questioned why the state government raised RM900mil via a sukuk wakalah to pay back a RM1.2bil loan from the Sabah Development Bank given to state-owned Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd. (SIP).

Why raise funds to repay loans to state-owned companies?” “Is it just to make your accounts look good?” He said that the money raised could have gone to basic necessities like water and poverty alleviation in Sabah.

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