CM: RM4.47 billion in 12MP for Sarawak does not reflect its needs nor equal partner status

Abang Johari speaking during a press conference on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). Photo Credit: Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

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KUCHING, Oct 15: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believes the allocation of RM4.47 billion under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP)’s first rolling plan to Sarawak, which was just 6.8 per cent of the total National development expenditure, does not reflect the needs of Sarawak, considering its size and level of development as well as its status as an equal partner to the formation of Malaysia.

He said the allocation was low compared to Sarawak’s needs to accelerate and close the development gaps with Peninsular Malaysia.

Abang Johari thus called on the federal government to provide a fairer share of revenue to Sarawak based on the State’s contribution to the federal government.

“In our discussion on the allocation to the State, out of the national development expenditure allocation, I stress to both Federal Ministers (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib) that like all partnerships, Sarawak as an equal partner, should receive the partnership revenue share based on several factors, including the State’s contribution to the Federal coffers, which include revenues received by the Federal Government through the exploitation of the State’s natural resources as well as the taxes derived from the State,” he said during a press conference on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.

Earlier, he said the federal government will make amendments to the Federal Constitution and matters relating to MA63 and Sarawak’s interest.

Abang Johari said the new proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution particularly Article 1(2) and Article 160(2) is more comprehensive and reflects the true spirit and intention of the parties when they entered into MA63.

He noted, those amendments to the definition of “the Federation” under Article 160(2) are crucial and must be done so that MA63 and its annexures are recognized in the Federal Constitution. — DayakDaily.