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Thursday, November 29, 2018

We know your money problems, please understand ours, Sabah tells Putrajaya

Shafie Apdal urges Putrajaya to understand Sabah’s financial situation. (Bernama pic)
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government says it hopes there would not be a delay in payment of the special grants for Sabah as provided by the federal constitution, after Putrajaya said it could not pay the money owed to the state.
Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said he sympathised with the federal government’s situation, but said it should be mutual.
“We also have debts to pay just like the federal government. We also have to find money on our own so we can pay our own debts.
“I do hope things would improve and the financial environment changes soon,” he said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Sunday that the federal government could not afford to fulfil its obligation to return 40% of revenue it derived from Sabah, citing the government’s financial situation.
Lim however said the government would eventually pay the 40% special grant.
Shafie said he hoped Putrajaya would at least fulfil part of the 40% now.
“If they are sick, we will be worse off. We want to have a closer relationship with the federal government and at the same time, we want to develop Sabah and prosper the people,” he said.
He said the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were non-negotiable, adding that the only things to be discussed were how the terms could be met.
“We already have a date set for a meeting with the prime minister. I think it is better to discuss matters there,” he said. - FMT

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