Upko: Framework mechanism for 40 per cent revenue payment should be discussed between federal, Sabah governments

KOTA KINABALU: The United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) is proposing for a framework for the payment mechanism of the 40 per cent revenue paid to Sabah.

Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick said such a framework needed to be presented and discussed between the federal government and Sabah government.

Ewon, who is Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister said this is in line with the federal government's decision to set a one-year period starting from July 2023 to finalise the payment mechanism.

The Penampang member of parliament also said the framework must consider technical issues related to the availability of data concerning the collection of federal revenue in Sabah since 1974 and outline more practical steps moving forward.

"As a member of the Action Council for the Implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MTPMA63) and the MTPMA63 Technical Committee, I have taken the initiative to hold roundtable discussions with Sabah leaders who have expertise in their respective fields.

"The purpose is to discuss a framework mechanism that can be presented to the government for the implementation of the repayment of 40 per cent of federal revenue to Sabah," he said in a statement after chairing a roundtable discussion on the repayment mechanism here.

Present at the discussion were former Chief Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Sabah representative in the Inland Revenue Board Datuk Petrus Gimbad, former Sabah Law Society presidents Datuk Roger Chin and Datuk John Sikayun, Sabah Development Institute chief executive officer Professor Datuk Dr Ramzah Dambul, and former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing.

Ewon added that the proposal would be sent to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor before the scheduled Malaysia Agreement-related committees convene early next year.

"I also propose that a pre-council involving members of the meeting from Sabah be held earlier so that we can present a unified narrative.

"In essence, we want any special payments to Sabah to be based on the 40 per cent formula as outlined in Article 112C of the Federal Constitution," he said.

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