Sarawak gets RM300 million in special grants from Putrajaya

Desmond Davidson

Sarawak’s yearly financial grants under article 112C of the Federal Constitution jumps from RM16 million to RM300 million. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 20, 2023.

SARAWAK’S yearly financial grants under article 112C of the Federal Constitution has jumped from RM16 million – what it had been given for the last 60 years – to RM300 million this year.

However, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, after chairing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Implementation Action Council’s meeting in Kuching this morning, said the amount would still be subject to the formula Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg had been pushing to determine the amount.

Abang Johari had been pushing for the formula for the past year for a review of the amount under article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

When the federal government paid Sabah RM125.6 million – a five-fold increase from the RM26.7 million paid to the state previously – in April last year, Sarawak rejected the amount they were to receive.

The Sarawak premier did not disclose the amount.

He had insisted the amount should be calculated based on the formula he had proposed.

The premier also said the formula will take into account the financial position of the federal government, as well as the needs of the state.

The prime minister said the meeting today had agreed to adopt the formula to calculate future grants.

The grant is Sarawak and Sabah’s entitlement to proceeds from the taxes, fees and dues collected, levied or raised within the two states by the federal government.

On the “correct” status of Sabah and Sarawak and what they two Borneo states should be called, the prime minister said it would have to follow due process first.

He said the proposal on what the two states should be called would have to be forwarded to the Malay rulers for them to deliberate on.

He said that process was “important” before it was brought to the cabinet for discussions.

“Sabah and Sarawak’s status is clear in the constitution. When the MA63 was signed for the formation of Malaysia, the three entities were the federated Malay states in the peninsula, the state of Sabah and the state of Sarawak,” he said.

Some rights activists had said that Sarawak’s status should be province, not region.

The debate on the status reignited when Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in his policy speech at Umno’s general assembly, last week, said Sabah and Sarawak have been accorded the status of region and should no longer be regarded as states within Malaysia. – January 20, 2023.

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