I am not really sure what to make out of Razaleigh's campaign on the oil royalty issue.It was a Kelantan problem.Why come to Sabah telling Sabahans giving them false hope that they could get more oil royalty if they negotiate with the Federal government which I presumed Razaleigh knew fully well to be a lost cause, at this moment, at least.
Despite his untiring effort to get it for Kelantan, the Federal government refused to entertain his argument that Kelantan is legally entitled to such payment.What's the point of telling Sabahans that they can get more when he can't even convince his party cadres in the ruling party to agree with his interpretation of the law.
I also have great difficulty to decide whether the Tengku is still in UMNO or working for the oppositions.He seems to be using the opposition's platform to voice his disagreement and has turned it into a nation wide campaign.
If I remember well it was him that got the Berjaya government to sign the 5% royalty after the toppling of Mustapha regime who, steadfastly, refused to accept the meagre payment by the Federal government.The oil royalty was one of the thorny issues during Mustapha's time and the cause of his downfall.
Maybe, it's about time Razaleigh decide whether he wants to stay in UMNO and sing the same song or leave the party and continue with his crusade.
He certainly can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
'Nothing to stop review'
Published on: Sunday, April 04, 2010
Penampang: There is nothing stopping the people of Sabah from calling upon the State Government to seek a re-negotiation with the Federal Government and Petronas on the quantum of oil royalty.
"If Sabahans want to hold a fresh negotiation through the State Government there is no one that can stop them because what we have is based on the original agreement," said former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
"And if now they think they don't want the (current amount of 5pc) royalty then go ahead, ask the State Government to re-negotiate with Federal Government É I am not appointed as the State Government's advisor so its up to you," said Razaleigh, himself a former Petronas Chairman.
He said if the people and the State Government felt they have the capability to demand for a raise in the oil royalty then they should just go ahead.
Razaleigh, who was responsible for drawing up the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) 1974 that led to setting up the national petroleum company, Petronas, said this in response to questions after presenting a talk entitled "Sabah's Oil For Whom?" at the Hongkod Koisaan, KDCA, Friday night.
The event was organised by United Sabah Dusun Association (Usda) in collaboration with 14 other organisations. Some 1,000 people attended the talk that began at 8pm and lasted till nearly midnight.
On the question of how come Sabah and the other major oil producing states in the country continue to be lagging behind, the Gua Musang MP said poverty issues are not something that can be resolved immediately, even though the State has an abundance of oil resources.
He said the issues were inter-related with social, education and health, among others. However, it was also up to the people to ask the State Government on how the royalty was being spent (over the years), especially in the context of eradicating poverty.
"Ask the Government how the royalty had been spent.
As long as we continue to be mum we will not get the protection that we should get," he said.
To a question from Usda asking if there is a mechanism that can tell the volume of oil and gas taken out from Sabah, he said this was a matter of trust.
"If we want to measure it can be done. We can install meter gauge to measure how much oil and gas is taken out from Sabah. Now the question is whether this is necessary?" he said.
Such information, according to him, could be obtained from the Statistics Department and from the volume of Petronas exports.
On the issue of gas from Sabah to be channelled to Sarawak through pipelines, which should instead be used in Sabah by setting up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Processing Plant in the State, he said it should be the way.
"I am also curious why gas obtained from Sabah has to be channelled to Sarawak although Sabah really needs its own LNG plant," he said.
To the question from Ikatan Anak Anak Semenanjung on whether the Kelantan case where its royalty cash payment was being paid as an ex-gratia payment by the Federal Government could be challenged in court, he said in the affirmative.
"Anything can be challenged in the court to get justice but whether this will bring benefit or not is a different issue (as) the Federal Government have the power so they can do whatever they like it seems," he said.
Razaleigh said since he was the one together with late second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak responsible for drafting the PDA, he knew very well that there is no such provision in the Act on ex-gratia payment in place of the oil royalty.
"Our view and the Federal Government is different but I hope the Federal Government would be able to interpret the Act based on the real understanding," he said.
The PDA was drafted to utilise the oil from the waters of east coast in Semenanjung for developing the backward states there, he said.
Earlier, he said the total royalty paid to Sabah from 2004 to 2007 was RM1.23 billion, Sarawak (RM4.281 billion) and Terengganu (RM7.3 billion).Daily Express.
Razaleigh other story here.