SPA: Federal govt should use one-third formula to devise annual budget

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

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KUCHING, Oct 15: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) opines that it would only be fair and justified that the federal government allocates its annual budget based on a ‘one-third’ formula to reflect the equal partnership between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng emphasised that applying the one-third formula in budget distribution showed equal partnership between the three territories as agreed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“SPA feels that it is only fair that the federal government use land size (as a measure) in the distribution of the annual budget,” he stated in a press release today.

He disclosed that in the recently announced budget for 2020, the peninsula received 83 per cent of the total development expenditure budget, while Sabah received 9 per cent and Sarawak 8 per cent.

“This shows that the federal government places more focus on the development in Peninsular Malaysia,” he added.

He noted that Sarawak and Sabah have huge land size and there are many infrastructure projects waiting for funding.

“The population in Sarawak may grow faster when the infrastructure is in place. And one day Sarawak may have a population equivalent to Peninsular Malaysia.

“I think the federal government should use the one-third formula in distributing the budget — one-third fund for Malaya, one-third fund for Sabah and one-third fund for Sarawak,” he stressed.

Lau also supported the call from Sabah and Sarawak governments for Putrajaya to reveal the formula used to calculate the special grants entitlement. — DayakDaily