KOTA KINABALU: Twelve Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) representatives have withdrawn their originating summons (OS) to seek a court order compelling the federal government to recognise Sabah’s constitutional rights.
In a joint statement today, the group said there was progress made through the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Implementation Action Council chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, in which two of the three declarations sought by the group had been agreed upon and would be implemented soon.
“We are also pleased to know that the net revenue derived from Sabah annually will now be made known to the Sabah government, as a member of the Inland Revenue Board, when the amendment to the IRB Act 1995 is tabled in Parliament.
“We are also aware that last year’s review will be superseded by a new review, which will be ready soon and this will increase the number of special grants for Sabah.
“What is equally important is that this new review is clearly an ‘interim solution’ and as such does not affect Sabah’s right to claim its special grant based on the 40% formula for the affected years,” the group said.
The group said it was also mindful that it was untenable to continue with the legal action, given that some of its members were now holding positions in the state and federal governments.
“Taking into account the progress that has been made and the good things that can be done through the MA63 technical committee, we think that this option should be supported as a way to reach the intended objective we set when we filed our OS last year.
“We agree to withdraw our OS, but with the liberty to file afresh. If the remaining issues have not been resolved and cannot be agreed upon, we reserve the right to bring this case back to court to pursue any unresolved constitutional rights, as provided for in the MA63,” the group said.
The OS was filed on June 3 last year, seeking a court order that the federal government recognise Sabah’s constitutional rights as provided under the Federal Constitution and special rights for Sabah to receive 40% of the federation’s net revenue derived from Sabah.
The 12 representatives are Ewon Benedick (Penampang MP and Kadamaian assemblyman), Wilfred Madius Tangau (Tuaran MP), Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu MP), Vivian Wong (Sandakan MP), Senator Noorita Sual, Frankie Poon (Tanjung Papat assemblyman), Christina Liew (Api-Api assemblyman), Phoong Jin Zhe (Luyang assemblyman), Jannie Lasimbang (Kapayan assemblyman), Peto Galim (Inanam assemblyman), Tan Lee Fatt (Likas assemblyman) and Awang Hussaini Sahari (former Putatan MP).