Federal Development Grants
KUCHING: The federal government has been urged to come out with a right formula in the allocation of special development grants to Sarawak and Sabah.
The distribution of fund should not be based on comparisons between Sarawak and Sabah and the states in Malaya.
Such rational would be unfair to Sarawak and Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“If we were to analyse the (land) size and the contributions of resources to the federal coffers, we’re certainly not happy. Don’t compare us with other states.
“You just cannot compare Sarawak or Sabah with, let’s say, Perlis, Selangor or even any other state in the Peninsula. If that’s the rational in the distribution of funds… it is unfair.
“If you compare with Selangor or Melaka for example, they are just the size of Kuching,” he said when fielding a question during a joint press conference with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
Abang Johari had earlier paid a courtesy call on his Sabah counterpart at the Sabah Chief Minister’s office. The visit was to reciprocate Shafie’s visit to Kuching earlier this year.
Due to insufficient funding, he said Sarawak had to resort to using its own funds to build basic infrastructure throughout the state.
Earlier, Shafie said the federal government should look into various aspects in the allocation of funds to the two states.
He echoed Abang Johari’s call, adding, “We would like to know the formula used in determining the figure for the special grants”.
“Don’t just look at the size but also the population and other aspects as well,” he added.
Shafie said this was also raised during the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) consultative committee meeting.
Accompanying Abang Johari on the visit were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and State Secretary Datuk Jaul Samion.
Today, Abang Johari and his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang will visit Sabah Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Negeri in Kota Kinabalu.
He also will pay a courtesy call on former Sabah Head of State Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Sakaran Dandai at Sakaran’s residence before returning to Kuching.