Only RM6.2bil, not RM16bil – Kitingan disputes Anwar’s claim

Jeffrey Kitingan questioned how Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim knew the amount of Sabah’s share of net tax revenue “when that figure is not given to us”. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Sabah deputy chief minister Jeffrey Kitingan has questioned the amount of the federal allocation for the state as quoted by prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the federal allocation was only RM6.2 billion, not the RM16 billion stated by Anwar. Kitiangan wondered if the prime minister had been wrongly advised, the Borneo Post reported.

Kitingan also disputed Anwar’s assertion that the RM16 billion exceeded the Sabah claim for its share of net federal revenue. He questioned how Anwar, who is finance minister, knew the amount of Sabah’s share when “the figure was not given to us.”

Under the constitution, Sabah and Sarawak are entitled to a special yearly federal grant, which may be reviewed at the request of the federal or state governments, For Sabah, the grant is equivalent to 40% of the amount higher than the net revenue obtained in 1963.

“We have been questioning about the figure all this while. So where is the figure coming from? I guess the finance ministry told him that,” said Kitingan, who has previously said the state will produce its own computation.

He also said the interim payment of RM300 million was not what was owed, and called for the matter to be settled as soon as possible.

“We respect the PM for mentioning the RM16 billion. However, we cannot stop raising the issue until it is settled. Because if we stop raising the issue, they will start forgetting about it.”

United Sabah Nasional Organisation president Pandikar Amin Mulia said Anwar’s remarks had added to the confusion among Sabahans.

He also asked how Anwar arrived at the RM16 billion figure. “So, the PM’s statement yesterday was confusing, I myself was confused.”

Earlier this evening, former chief minister Salleh Said Keruak urged federal government officials to “sit down and work out a mechanism” for calculating the amount of the special grant due to Sabah.


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