KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will consider all legal avenues available constitutionally to pursue the 40% backdated revenue owed by the Federal Government if no feasible agreement is reached, says Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
Masidi, who is among the lead negotiators on this issue, said the matter is still being pursued and under discussion.
He said as negotiations have not even ended, the issue of whether Sabah will lodge a formal claim over the 40% revenue from Putrajaya, or drop it, does not arise at this point.
“It has been announced in the state assembly and all other subsequent statements that we have not even concluded the talks. The issue of us taking it or not does not even arise,” he said.
Masidi said this when responding to reporters’ questions with regard to the issue during the state Hari Raya programme here yesterday.
This also comes following Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili’s suggestion that Sabah state its claim over the non-implementation of the 40% revenue entitlement and the alleged sum owed.
Masidi said this issue should not be raised yet as the team involved in negotiations with the Federal Government are still pursuing it.
“In fact, as I have stated in the state assembly, both parties agree to disagree on the interpretation of the 40%, and will continue to negotiate it.
“What we are also saying is that meanwhile, don’t leave us with zero. That’s why we have agreed to take an interim RM125mil per year for now,” said Masidi.
He said this amount will change after they have reached another agreement on the 40%.
“We will consider all legal avenues available to us.
“The Constitution has a provision allowing us to hire independent assessors and that’s one of the options that can be looked into if negotiations fail after some reasonable time,” he added.