Monday, March 01, 2010

Oil royalty: Kelantan BN reps revoke backing for motion

All six Kelantan BN assemblypersons have revoked their support for the oil royalty motion in the state assembly today, claiming that it does not match what they had agreed upon.

According to Nenggiri representative Mat Yusof Abdul Ghani, BN - which forms the opposition in the state assembly - had supported the motion to take the matter to court.

HNONEowever, amendments have since been made to pressure Petronas to make royalty payments to Kelantan as soon as possible.

Mat Yusof said the initial decision to back the motion had been unanimous and that Umno state communications body chairperson and Jeli assemblyperson Mustapa Mohamed had been informed of this.

The motion reads: 'The state assembly hereby gives a mandate to the state executive council (MMK), on behalf of the state government, to take the matter to court, with the intention of obtaining royalty payments, which are the right of the people and government of Kelantan in accordance with the agreement and the handing over of petroleum rights, be it on land or off the shore of Kelantan, signed in 1975.

"This is in adherence to the Petroleum Development Act 1974, and should be exercised at any time deemed fit by the state government.'

Mat Yusof spoke to Malaysiakini today in response to a Harakahdaily report, which claimed that the motion was unanimously passed today after receiving the support of BN assemblypersons.

NONEThe online PAS mouthpiece reported that Mat Yusof, state opposition head Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad and Kuala Balah assemblyperson Abdul Aziz Derashid had supported the motion.

It also claimed that Nozula Mat Diah (BN-Paloh) and Adhan Kechik (BN-Bukit Bunga) did not support the motion, while Noorzahidi Omar (BN-Pengkalan Kubur) was absent.

There has been long-standing contention over the payment of the oil royalty to Kelantan, with the federal government claiming that the state is not entitled to it. Instead, it has been offered a 'goodwill payment'.

However, this view has been disputed over the years, with the most recent argument being strongly stated by Umno's Gua Musang MP and former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

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