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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PAS claims has proof to get Kelantan oil royalty

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — PAS today claimed to have proof of Kelantan’s right to oil royalty payments from Petronas, after the Dewan Rakyat Speaker rejected an emergency motion to debate the issue.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub (left) said he had the evidence, after he revealed that the emergency motion was rejected.
“I sent an emergency motion under standing order 18(1) on March 10 to debate on the oil royalty issue because I found several new discoveries after Parliament was adjourned last year, and we don’t at all agree with the answer of prime minister,” Salahuddin told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat.
He said the federal government’s excuses fell flat against the evidence in the party’s hands.
“On the issue of the nautical miles, which is stated in the Petronas letter to Terengganu on Sept 16, 1978, if the matter of the three nautical miles is questioned, then the oil wells are beyond three nautical miles.”
“And in this letter the Petronas officer has written to the officer in charge of finance in the state, the estimate payment of oil royalty for 1979 was RM3.2million was stated as royalty payment,” he said.
The Kubang Kerian MP also stressed that, at the time, the issue of goodwill payment or whether the oil wells were beyond three nautical miles did not arise.
Additionally, Salahuddin also asserted that there was another agreement, made between Petronas and the Kelantan mentri besar back then.
“Another matter is the agreement between Petronas and the Kelantan mentri besar on this issue. The agreement was signed May 19, 1975, and if we scrutinise the whole agreement, it doesn’t at all mention the matter of three nautical miles off shore or onshore.”
Instead, it was stated then that Petronas had pay the state a royalty.
“The motion was denied because it was apparently not urgent. We promise to bring this topic as one of the important topics in debates during the debate on the oil royalty address and we will show documents on our claims,” he said.
Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had stated that the federal government would only be according the state “compassionate payments” and not oil royalty, citing the fact that Kelantan had no rights to these as the oil reserves were beyond three nautical miles of the state’s shores.


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