Sabah’s five-decade-old claims to be paid soon – Ongkili

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 16 — A five-decade fight on claims by the Sabah government is finally over, thanks to a “cordial and sensible” discussion between the state and federal finance ministries recently, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

He said the two ministries briefed their respective Cabinets today on the outcome of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting on the review of annual grants under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution between the federal and state finance ministries.

It was understood that both sides had endorsed all the resolutions, said Ongkili, who is also the Kota Marudu Member of Parliament, in a statement here today.

Congratulating both sides for the cordial and sensible exchange despite their occasional non-compromising stances, Ongkili said he was especially proud of the Sabah government for its determination and hard work in getting what it deserved.

“The state will receive almost five times increase in annual grants, which will be more than twice the amount promised by the then Pakatan Harapan government to the Warisan-led government.

“It proves the capability and capacity of the GRS (Gabungan Rakyat Sabah) state government to defend Sabah’s rights and preserve good federal-state relations to ensure economic prosperity for Sabahans,” he said.

Ongkili, who was also at the meeting on Monday in Kota Kinabalu on behalf of the Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63), disclosed that the new grant formula will be signed and officiated jointly by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor at the next MKMA63 meeting, which is scheduled for early next month.

The JCC meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz on the federal government side, while Sabah Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun led the Sabah team, comprising State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong, Sabah Attorney-General Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof, legal advisors, and senior finance officers.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency