Sabah to present payment plan to Putrajaya over 40% net revenue entitlement

Sabah to present payment plan to Putrajaya over 40% net revenue entitlement

Datuk Ewon Benedick says will formulate framework with state leaders, experts.

PENAMPANG lawmaker Datuk Ewon Benedick said he would present a repayment mechanism framework to Putrajaya over the state’s entitlement to 40% of the revenue Malaysia nets from Sabah. Among the requests in the framework was for Sabah to access data on the revenue Putrajaya has gained from Sabah.

Benedick, who is United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation president, said he would present the framework to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister II Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor before a meeting on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) early next year.

Benedick said he would present the framework – which would be drafted by Sabah leaders – as an MA63 Settlement Action Council and MA63 Technical Committee member.

“I took the initiative to hold talks with Sabah leaders who are experts in their respective fields to discuss a framework that can be presented to the government for it to repay 40% of Sabah’s revenue,” he said in a statement during a discussion with state leaders in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Benedick previously told The Vibes efforts to decide on a repayment mechanism would include identifying what constitutes “revenue” in view of article 112C and section 2(1) of part IV of the 10th schedule of the Federal Constitution.

He said there was no way to establish the exact amount Sabah was entitled to as the federal revenue collection has never been made known.

Even with the recent appointments of Sabah and Sarawak representatives to the Inland Revenue Board, the exact figure could not be established due to technical issues, Benedick said.

Benedick proposed an MA63 Settlement Action Council meeting be held ahead of the MA63 Technical Committee meeting early next year, as Sabah leaders must come up with a unified narrative that Sabah is entitled to 40% of what it contributes to Putrajaya.

He said the framework must be discussed by Putrajaya and Sabah in line with the federal government’s aim to finalise a repayment mechanism by July.

Yesterday’s state leaders’ talks included former chief minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Inland Revenue Board’s Sabah representative Datuk Petrus Gimbad, former Sabah Law Society presidents Datuk Roger Chin and Datuk John Sikayun, Sabah Development Institute chief executive officer Prof Datuk Ramzah Dambul, and ex-state deputy chief minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing.

– The Vibes, December 20, 2023.

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