KOTA KINABALU, May 8 — The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah — Barisan Nasional (GRS-BN) government is only continuing the work done by Warisan Plus when it was in the government.

According to Parti Warisan’s information chief Datuk Awang Ahmad Sah, the GRS-BN government has also made slight changes to what was implemented by Warisan Plus so that they can get credit as well as make it seem as though what was done was through their own effort.

“When some of the GRS-BN component parties’ leaders speak at meet-the-people sessions done in preparation for the 15th general election (15GE), they are heard takling about the results of the government’s hard work.

“But it is Warisan Plus’ work. The rakyat in Sabah must not forget that majority of the GRS-BN leaders are made up of those who were in power for more than three decades but were never able to achieve what Warisan Plus has done,” he said.

Awang Ahmad pointed out that the then Sabah government led by Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as Chief Minister together with Sarawak’s Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg had submitted 21 demands to the federal government which saw 17 of them fulfilled.

One of the 17 claims is in respect of the Review of Special Grants which refers to Article 112D in accordance with 112C of the Federal Constitution (Special Collection 40 per cent), said Awang Ahmad.

He added that the then federal government agreed to increase the special grant from RM26.7 million to RM53.4 million and further RM106.8 million for the period 2020 to 2024.

However, the decision on the formula was objected to by Shafie and Abg Johari as the then federal government through the Ministry of Finance led by Lim Guan Eng had never discussed the formula adopted at the Steering Committee level, he claimed.

“Through a joint media statement after the announcement of Budget 2020 by Guan Eng, Shafie and Abg Johari reiterated their stance that 40 per cent revenue as stipulated in MA63 and Federal Constitution Article 112C should be returned when the economy gradually recovers.

“So, it was a big and malicious lie when STAR Sabah president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan accused Warisan of cheating when it pressured the federal government to return the 40 per cent revenue collection but instead agreed to accept the RM53.4 million grant,” he claimed.

“I would like to ask, did the president of STAR Sabah ever raise this demand at the federal government level when he was the Deputy Federal Minister in 1994 to 1995 or when he was the chairman of the Institute Development of Studies (IDS) and chairman of the Sabah Foundation under the PBS government?” asked Awang Ahmad in a statement on Sunday.

Jeffrey, he said, is also aware that BN governed Sabah for 26 years but not a single thing about MA63 was presented seriously at the Federal level until the Warisan Plus government took over in 2018, let alone the issue of this special grant.

He should be grateful because finally the voice of this demand, which he also fought for when he was in the opposition, got the attention of the federal government after the fall of BN, Awang Ahmad said.

“I am sure Jeffrey and Masidi both who were appointed to the MA63 Special committee at the federal level are aware and know, without pressure from Warisan at the central level when PH became the government, the approval of the 17 claims would not have been possible in a short period of time,” he stressed. — Borneo Post