KOTA KINABALU, April 22 — Sabah will take a phase-by-phase approach on the federal government’s special grant if the negotiation process cannot be finalised by the set period, the Sabah State Legislative Assembly was told today.

State Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the negotiation period is for one year until July 18 this year, and currently the formula for the special grant is still in the negotiation process.

“Sabah has requested data from the federal government eight times to determine the amount that should be claimed but no reasonable answer has been given. If no agreement is reached after July, then it is up to us to appoint an independent evaluator.

“Besides, we have also stated that after July we will also make demands in phases without complete data from the federal government. We will make an assumption and calculate the amount ourselves based on the data announced by the federal government agencies themselves,” he said.

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He said this when replying a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Lamag) who asked about the negotiation process regarding the payment of the special grant.

Bung Moktar in his earlier oral question asked if the Sabah government intended to propose an independent evaluator in the negotiation process to determine the appropriate amount for the special grant.

State Assistant Minister of Finance Tan Lee Fat when answering the question said that the Sabah government is sticking to maintaining the original formula of special grants as enshrined in the Federal Constitution which is two-fifths or 40 per cent of the net federal revenue in Sabah.

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He said since negotiations on the sum of grants began, the federal government paid RM125.6 million in 2022 and RM300 million last year, of which the state government received the payment as an interim settlement.

“I would like to remind you that the matter regarding this special grant is still in the negotiation process, I am confident and believe that the negotiations between the federal and state governments will yield the results we have been waiting for, for a long time for the interests and well-being of the people in this state,” he said. — Bernama