Sabah Pakatan officials will use salary hike to fund lawsuits and welfare programs

KOTA KINABALU: Seven lawmakers from Sabah Pakatan Harapan will use their recent salary increase to pay the legal costs of their lawsuit they filed in court to demand Sabah the rights to its right for the return of 40% of revenues state federal.

They filed an original subpoena on June 3, asking, among other things, for a declaration from the High Court that Sabah is entitled to the 40% of revenue taken by the federal government from the state each year to be “respected and delivered as stated in the Constitution.

In addition to this, the Assembly members said that they would also use the additional salaries received from the government to organize welfare programs in their respective constituencies.

“We will fully utilize our increased awards to fund the lawsuit and exhaust the court as a platform, even up to the Federal Court level, to pursue Sabah’s rights,” they said in a statement. joint Wednesday, July 20. .

“We will also use the salary increase to organize charity events (for the people) in our own regions, as we do not receive special allowances given to government deputies,” they added.

Those who signed the declaration were the leader of Sabah Pakatan, Datuk Christina Liew, and his fellow PKR member of the Inanam assembly, Peto Galim, the vice-president of Upko, Datuk Ewon Benedick, and the representatives from Sabah DAP State, Datuk Frankie Poon, Phoong Jin Zhe, Jannie Lasimbang and Tan Lee Fatt.

The Sabah state assembly on Tuesday (July 19th) passed a bill to raise the salaries of state cabinet members, MPs, the president, vice presidents and political secretaries.

Following this, the Chief Minister’s salary was increased from RM23,595 to RM33,033; deputy chief ministers (RM20,872.50 to RM29,221.50); ministers (RM16,335 to RM22,869); deputy ministers (RM12,705 to RM17,787); Assembly members (RM7,950 to RM11,130) and Political Secretaries (RM5,445 to RM7,623).

During debate on the bill, opposition lawmakers said raising their salaries now was inappropriate at a time when ordinary citizens were suffering due to the rising cost of living as well as a drop economic opportunities.

Meanwhile, the seven Sabah Pakatan legislators also urged the state government to implement reforms in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly to empower the roles of Assembly members.

They said the reforms were also necessary to justify their increase in allocation and so it could be felt by the people.

Among the suggested reforms was the formation of a cross-party committee which will act as a unified front to claim state rights as enshrined in the Malaysian Agreement of 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.

“The number of sessions in the National Assembly should also be doubled each year so that the people’s problems are better heard and better resolved.

“Opposition MPs should also be placed in district-level committees such as district development action committee, district land use committee and disaster management committee,” they said. they stated.

Sabah Pakatan lawmakers added that the government must also introduce a new law to allow equal development allowance to all selected Assembly members so that aid can be channeled directly to the rakyat.