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By Christopher Lidom and Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 5: The annual special grant from the federal government to Sarawak is still being negotiated as the Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg insists the revenue-sharing ‘formula’ that he has proposed be used.
Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak’s position on the annual special grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution is different from that of Sabah which has agreed to receive RM125.6 million for 2022, a 4.7-fold increase from RM26.7 million.
“My principle is like this, if the country (Malaysia) is doing well (financially), then it must be shared but it (the sharing) must be based on a certain formula.
“If the country is not doing well, then we share the burden or problem together. We (Sarawak) do not want…they make money but they do not share with us.
“You cannot give (the grant) like giving away chicken. If our country is doing well, you (Putrajaya) must share. (But) if the country is not doing well, how can we ask for more? It is not fair right?,” he told the press when approached at the N26 Gedong Aidilfitri gathering held at a hotel here today.
Insisting on using a base formula, Abang Johari emphasised that Sarawak is very practical and pragmatic in its approach towards the issue which takes into account the financial standing and burden of the federal government.
“Surely, based on the formula, if the income revenue is less (if the country is not doing well), then the grant will be less.
“You cannot fix (the revenue-sharing) like that (permanently) because we also must be concerned (and take into account) the financial position of the federal government,” he explained.
When asked about the outcome of the discussion between Sarawak and the federal governments that took place some time last month, the Premier said no amount has been ascertained yet as it is still under negotiation.
He emphasised that he is very firm on using the proposed formula, which was also proposed to the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, to determine the amount of annual grant due to Sarawak.
“They did not decide on the amount of allocation for Sarawak (in the last meeting) because I insisted on applying the formula,” he added. — DayakDaily