KOTA KINABALU: Incoming Upko president Ewon Benedick has called for the establishment of an inter-party committee of government and opposition assemblymen to ensure they are on the same page in fighting for Sabah’s rights.
Ewon (Upko-Kadamaian) told the Sabah state assembly that this committee would strengthen Sabah’s claims under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Federal Constitution, especially for Sabah to be given 40% of the federal revenue collected in the state.
In the current political dynamics, especially with the formation of the unity government at the federal level, it was important for all assemblymen to come together and fight for Sabah’s rights, he said.
“For the government bloc the consultation process will definitely continue while some assemblymen have gone to court to claim Sabah’s rights,” he said when debating Sabah 2023 budget today.
He also expressed his willingness to cooperate with the Sabah government led by chief minister Hajiji Noor, as this was in line with the formation of the unity government under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
“I hope Sabah can take the cue from what happened at the federal level so that we can harness our efforts and be united to do the best for the people,” he added.
On another matter, Yusof Yacob (BN-Sindumin) asked the government to study and review the road maintenance agreement of concession companies in the state. He claimed they were not doing their job properly.
He said the people were not disputing the profits made by these companies but they should maintain the roads well.
“The people want damaged roads to be repaired immediately and cannot accept the excuse of concessionaires that maintenance is done on rotation (based on location).
“Overgrown grass and bushes by the roadside should be cut immediately, not once in three months,” he said.
Yusof said he had received feedback from the public asking to ensure safety while work is carried out on the Pan Borneo Highway and drainage be improved to prevent floods.
Darell Leiking (Warisan-Moyog) also complained about the Pan Borneo Highway contractors not maintaining drainage properly, causing floods in several areas.
“The floods in my constituency were serious, with many linking them to the highway work in Penampang.”