Why no review of special grant, asks Sarawak MP

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri.

KUCHING: A Sarawak lawmaker has questioned the lack of review by the federal government of the special grant allocated to the state every year.

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri said the state had been receiving RM16 million from the federal government each year.

By right, she added, the amount should be reviewed every five years. However, Sarawak’s records showed there had been no review since 1969.

“We do not know why it stopped, and there was no committee set up,” she told FMT, adding that expenditure had increased more than 1,900% since then.

She said the government of Malaya had agreed to provide the special grant for Sarawak upon the formation of Malaysia, as stated under the 10th schedule of the Federal Constitution.

She also denied that the state had remained silent over the review under the previous Barisan Nasional administration, saying the issue was always discussed “aggressively” by the former Cabinet.

This was why the Devolution of Powers Committee, co-chaired by her and former foreign minister Anifah Aman, was established, she said.

“We were aggressively working out how much we should be paid.

“But there were also a lot of things happening at that time, for example the Pan Borneo project which is worth billions of ringgit, and had been requested by the Sarawak government for a long time.”