By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, May 23: Sarawak is pursuing negotiations for special grants entitled under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution through a joint consultative committee meeting under the Special Committee on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Office (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the State government has requested for the joint consultative committee meeting to be held in the near future.
“(This is) so that the formula for reviewing the Special Grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution and other related matters can be discussed and agreed upon, to ensure that special grants to Sarawak can be distributed fairly and equitably,” she said in response to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Yap Yau Sin (GPS-SUPP) during question-and-answer time in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.
Yap had noted that the federal government and the Sabah government had reached a consensus on reviewing the special grant to Sabah under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution, increasing the current grant by 4.7 fold from RM26.7 million to RM125.6 million for this year.
Sharifah Hasidah explained that for Sarawak’s part, its government has submitted the formula for reviewing the Special Grant under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution to ensure that special grants to Sarawak can be distributed fairly and equitably.
“In fact, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who is also Minister of Finance and New Economy has emphasised that the special grant to Sarawak ought to be based on a reasonable and pragmatic formula taking into account the financial position of the federal government as stipulated in Article 112D of the Federal Constitution,” she elaborated.
She also revealed that as provided under Article 112D (6) of the Federal Constitution, if during any review, the federal and State governments are unable to reach agreement on any matter, it shall be referred to an independent assessor, and his recommendation thereon shall be binding on the federal and State governments and shall be given effect as if they were the agreement of those governments. — DayakDaily