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KUCHING, Jan 30: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing supports the call for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to pay Sarawak its entitlement from the tax collected last year.
There are two reasons why the federal government is duty bound to give Sarawak and Sabah part of the RM137.035 billion tax collected in 2018, opined Masing.
“Number one is that it was promised in its (PH) GE14 manifesto. You promised, you give. Number two, it was stipulated in the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” said Masing in a statement today.
Masing told Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng that there was no way he (Lim) could wriggle himself out of this issue.
“Lim Guan Eng, the Minister of Finance, can’t wriggle his way out of the above reasons and not pay what is due to us,” said Masing.
Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president was responding to a comment by political analyst Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, who called on the federal government to return what is due to Sarawak and Sabah.
Dr Awang Azman, who is also deputy director of the Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya, said under MA63, Sarawak and Sabah were entitled to receive 40 per cent of the net revenue derived by the federal government from the two states, but so far this had not been fulfilled.
He said in November last year, the PH government wanted to pay 40 per cent but did not have enough funds to make the payments.
Editor’s note: The previous headline of the article was amended to better reflect the content of the article. Any inconvenience or misunderstanding caused is deeply regretted.