Be Patient On Entitlement, Ex-Chief Minister Teck Lee told

CHRISTOPHER MASUDAL

KOTA KINABALU: A Parti Warisan Sabah official Saturday told Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee to be patient in relation to the 40% entitlement owed to the Sabah State Government which he has been pushing for the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Darell Leiking to claim from the Federal Government.

According to Christopher Masudal, the Special Officer to Darell Leiking, being a former Chief Minister, Yong should know that the issue required a thorough discussion between the Federal and State Governments.

“Through his reminder to Darell and his affirmative declaration that he speaks sincerely as a Sabahan, I understand that Yong personally is hoping Darell will succeed, where other previous leaders failed, to find solution on the 40% entitlement issue and also the actual implementation of Sabah’s rights embodied under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Such reminder and acknowledgment coming from Yong to Darell is very much appreciated and I thank him but I think, we as Sabahans, should be realistic on this issue, and on other issues involving Sabah’s rights, because this calls for a ‘Government to Government’ discussion and must not be viewed as if Darell is holding the authoritative power reminiscence to Najib Razak and UMNO’s past era.

YONG TECK LEE

There are protocols and procedures to follow but I can assure Yong that Darell will do his best not only to facilitate the said discussion between the two Governments but also to play a major role in finding a concrete solution over the matter,” he said in a statement.

He was responding to a news portal report in which Yong questioned Warisan for apparently attacking a fellow Sabahan on the 40% entitlement issue.

Masudal also pointed out that the Sabah State Government is diligently pursuing the matter and he foresees progress coming within a few weeks or so.

“What the Sabahans can expect soon is the creation of a special joint committee comprising of the Sabah and Sarawak State Government and Federal Government within 100 days as promised under Pakatan’s Teras 4 (Janji 40) GE14 Manifesto. Through this special joint committee, our representatives will thrash out all the issues involving Sabah’s rights.

This special joint committee will also be entrusted to review, advise and propose the proper activation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. So if the committee believes that the said activation must start from the Sabah State Assembly, then from there it shall start.

Hence, the question of Darell bringing the issue on MA63 to the Parliament should not arise because it will be deemed superfluous, prejudicial and construed as an attempt by the Federal Government to suppress the State Government for he (Darell) is part of the Federal Cabinet,” he explained.

He also said that total amount of the exact figure of the quantum owed by the Federal Government to the State Government will be handled by the said special joint committee.

“The amount of RM1 trillion was actually quoted by Zainnal Ajamain during his MA63 speech at the residence of the Warisan DUN Petagas Chief Coordinator, Dullie Marie in front of the Treasurer General of Warisan, Terrence Siambun sometime last year.

However it is worth to point it out that nobody knows the exact figure of the quantum; it could be less than or exactly RM1 trillion. But it could also be more than a trillion considering that Sabah used to be the second richest State in Malaysia before Joseph Pairin Kitingan and his gang took over in 1985 thru PBS who defeated Berjaya.

I foresee that Sabah and Federal Governments will be at loggerheads on this matter with both coming out with their own figures (on the quantum) so the responsibility to ascertain just exactly how much the Federal owed to Sabah under the 40% entitlement will be entrusted to this committee,” he added.