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Friday, March 19, 2010

Ku Li warns BN could lose votes over oil royalty claims

By Dr Zulkifli Ahmad

(I wrote ‘The Lone Voice of Genuine Reform” and unequivocally gave my support to the principle-centred stance of the kelantan prince Tengku Razaleigh.

I said “He depicts and betrays his true statesmanship by confirming the offer to lead the parliamentary caucus on oil right. But best of it all, he now said that the oil caucus is not just about oil. It is to re-examine the relationship between the states and the federal government. Are we seeing a star in the gloomy night sky of Malaysia? As the saying goes, only when it is dark, do you see the star. 
Given the bleak political backdrop, the reform voice of Ku Li is surely most welcomed by the fraternity of the Pakatan Rakyat and most assuring and consoling to the citizenry as a whole. He may now be the target of retribution and hatred from his own party. The entire wrath of his party’s may descend on him. Najib is now weighing his options. This will be truly the test for Ku Li as a leader ie to walk the extra mile. We believe Ku Li has it – to be the lone voice of genuine reform from a party that has gone way past 6.30 pm! )…I have taken liberty to upload with permission the report of Ku Li’s most recent speech in Pasir Puteh and relentlessly speaking against the injustices perpetrated by the party he is alligned to and the government he supposedly must defend. He is a real patriot as defined by Voltaire “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”. …Dr Dzul.)
Umno’s patience will be tested by Ku Li over the Kelantan oil royalty issue. – Picture by Jack Ooi
PASIR PUTEH, March 18 — Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah warned Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) today that the ruling coalition could lose crucial votes in the next general election if the federal government continued to deny Kelantan’s oil royalty claims.
“It is difficult when we are not following the hopes of the people. People call this going against the flow.
“Anyway we shall see in the next elections because I am not a soothsayer,” he told reporters here today. The Umno leadership’s patience with Tengku Razaleigh will be tested severely when the veteran politician takes his oil royalty road-show to Terengganu tonight.
For the past few weeks, Umno leaders have stopped attacking the Gua Musang MP, concerned that verbal assaults will push him into arms of the opposition and provide Pakatan Rakyat with a strong leader should Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be convicted of sodomy.
But the politician, popularly known as Ku Li, is slated to question why Putrajaya withheld oil royalty payments to Terengganu during the PAS reign in the state, and raise questions on how the federal government used funds owed to the state government.
The founding Petronas chairman will bring these issues up at the oil royalty dialogue in the Terengganu Equestrian Resort in Kuala Terengganu after special prayers tonight.
The then PAS Terengganu government had sued Putrajaya when it stopped the 5 per cent oil royalty payments in 1999 after the Islamist party captured the state.
The federal government converted the oil royalty to a goodwill payment that was managed by federal agencies and Umno warlords with some of the money going to host the Monsoon Cup regatta and an Islamic Civilisational Park in Pulau Duyong complete with a number of mosques, including a crystal one.
Critics have complained the projects were a waste of money and the goodwill payments are a method for Umno to dole out largesse to their supporters.
Putrajaya agreed to pay oil royalty back to Terengganu in 2009 after the state dropped the suit, five years after BN recaptured the state in the 2004 general election.
But documents unearthed to prove that Terengganu was entitled to the oil royalty are still in the possession of PAS, which had ruled Kelantan since 1990. Tengku Razaleigh started his campaign to back his home state’s claims at a mammoth rally in Kota Baru two months ago.
“I think they have a very narrow view of the issue. Why can’t they give the money to the people of Kelantan? Is it because when PAS wins they cannot do so?
“The oil belongs to the people. Politics is a separate matter. This is a question of life and the progress of the people,” said Tengku Razaleigh today.
He said that it was up to the voters which party they supported.
“They speak of 1Malaysia but how to be 1Malaysia when over here there is no justice,” he said. The Umno veteran also backed a move by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to present a memorandum on the oil royalty claim to the King this Saturday.
“It is good to give a memorandum to the King so that he can be informed. “This is especially since Terengganu used to get oil royalty but this was taken away after PAS took over the state,” he said.


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