Abang Jo demands 10pc of federal development fund be allocated to Sarawak

Abang Jo demands 10pc of federal development fund be allocated to Sarawak

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said the new federal government must allocate at least 10 per cent of the total annual federal development budget to Sarawak.

He said this is in view of the fact that the state has made significant contributions to the national economic growth as well as federal government coffers in terms of collection of taxes and other sources of revenue, especially from oil and gas.

He said during the tabling of the recent Federal Budget 2023, only a sum of RM5.4 billion was announced for the state.

“This amount represents only 5.7 per cent of the total Federal Development Budget of RM95 billion for 2023 and, is obviously far from enough to meet the development needs and address the imbalances between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia,” Abang Johari said when tabling the State Budget 2023 at the Sarawak State Assembly.

He also urged that the 10 per cent allocation be directly disbursed to the State Trust Account to expedite the implementation of the federal-funded projects in the state.

“As we all know, the negotiations for Sarawak’s Special Grant entitlement under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution have been pursued through a Joint Consultative Committee Meeting under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 special council meeting.”

He said the state government has submitted to the federal government its formula to review the Special Grants for Sarawak.

“Thus, I implore the federal government to give due and serious consideration to our proposal that is fair and equitable to the State,” he added.

Abang Johari, who is also the state Finance and New Economy Minister, said that the previous Federal Cabinet has agreed with the state’s proposal to have representatives from Sarawak and Sabah in the Inland Revenue Board of Directors in line with the spirit of the MA63.

“This is a big achievement for our state, as we have fought for our rights on this matter several times through the MA63 special council meeting.

“The representation is necessary and critical to ensure Sarawak receives its rightful share in tax revenue returned to the State.

“Therefore, we urge the new federal government to expedite the tabling of the amendment to the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia Act 1995 (Act 533) in the Parliament, to enable the representatives from Sarawak and Sabah to be included in the Board of Directors,” he said. MM

Abang Jo demands 10pc of federal development fund be allocated to Sarawak

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