Friday, March 19, 2010

Ku Li: Goodwill money leads to ill will

Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says that the federal government's goodwill payment has led to graft and power abuse adding that RM20 billion of Terengganu's petro-dollars was spent although approved payments amounted to only RM1.6 billion in the last five years.

Ku Li, as he is known as, also said that the oil-producing states should get direct 5 % oil royalties instead of goodwill payments made by various government agencies, which he said were prone to abuse.

Terengganu state used to receive 5 % royalty from national oil firm Petronas, from 1978 until PAS captured the state in the 1999 elections.

Royalty payment restored

The royalty was then converted to goodwill payments, until the Federal government agreed to revert to oil royalty payments in 2009, after Barisan Nasional retook the state.

Kelantan is insisting on the five per cent oil royalty, amounting to RM2 billion, but Putrajaya says it was not eligible as oil and gas was extracted beyond the three nautical miles that was the state's territorial limits, but agreed to goodwill payments - similar to Terengganu's - amounting to RM25 million.

The Kelantan prince has joined the fight for the state's right to the payments, saying goodwill payments were unlawful and prone to abuse.

"We have to remember that with a lot of money, it can be used for corruption, a lot of things are priced higher to steal the money... that is what is called goodwill payments," he told the Premier Dialogue on Oil Royalty at the Terengganu Equestrian Resort here.-Malaysian Mirror

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