KUALA TERENGANU, Dec 14 – The Terengganu government has received RM6.2 billion oil royalty from the federal government since 2000, said Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
He said the amount included the RM408.6 million handed over recently by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is also Finance Minister. – Bernama
It is a wonder, despite getting RM6.2b in 8 years from oil royalty alone, the state has the highest poverty rate in the peninsula.
In an interview with The Edge weekly in April, Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said the state, stripped of its oil royalty, would have RM300 million to RM400 million in other revenues per year but that would not be sufficient for development.
Taken the above statement into account, the state should have around RM1b per year for development (RM700 million from oil royalty + RM300 million in other revenues) and managing the state. For a state like Terengganu, RM1b is not enough?
It is sickening to see the 3 biggest states in Malaysia, the major oil producers for the country – Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak – supposedly brimmed with tremendous oil wealth for decades but surprisingly these states also ranked consistently topped the list of those having the highest poverty rate in Malaysia!
You imagine these states being among the richest in the country with plenty of oil and gas would be well developed by no. Development, infrastructure and amenities is minimal. Some areas are still without electricity and clean water supply for 50 years! Yet, these people still supporting the very government that neglects them all this while. It is mysterious question that has been plaguing me for so long why they vote for the people that are enriching themselves by stealing their oil (among other things) and denying what is rightfully theirs.
KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu received an early New Year’s gift yesterday in the form of a cheque amounting to RM408.6 million in oil royalties for the second half of 2008.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who presented the cheque to Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, said the government had decided to pay the royalties directly to the state government instead of giving out wang ehsan.
In 2000, the Federal Government decided to channel oil royalties to Terengganu through development projects funded by the wang ehsan, after Pas took over the state in 1999.
“We do not want the people of Terengganu to think that we do not trust the state government or that we have little confidence in them to manage the money.
“From this day forth, we will bank in the royalties every three to four months so the state government can run development programmes, especially those to eradicate hardcore poverty.”
This was the first time that the royalty payment was made in public.
1. Of course you need to make the royalty payment public, it’s to remind the rakyat of Terengganu they should be grateful for the money they received from the federal goverment, and show it at the ballot box this coming by-election.
2. Of course, we finally trust the state government to manage the money on its own. We do not trust PAS (PAS took over in 1999, defeated in 2004), we only trust Umno-led BN. In BN we trust, we must!
It is a common practise by BN to practise such political bribery everytime we have a by-election looming around the corner. Remember Ijok by election? Millions of instantaneous development funds were allocated in matter of days. Street lights installed at lightning speed, paved roads, land titles, gift of sewing machines, computers, and many other freebies given by eager policians playing Santa Claus. All which normally takes forever to be done or approved – only need days to bulldoze through in the name of by-election.
The real winner? Nobody else but people of Ijok, or any by-election in that matter. By-election, is a blessing in disguise for any area, especially if it is under developed and neglected for long. When else the area will get so much attention and development funds but during a by-election? (Sad, but it’s true). Exploit it.
Of course, things given in good faith, we must take it happily. It’s like a Malay saying ‘Rezeki jangan ditolak, musuh jangan dicari‘ which translates to “Good fortune should not be rejected, enemies should not be sought after”.
In this case, the payment of oil royalty to Terengganu is long overdue. It is rightfully belong to Terengganu. Should Terengganu be thankful for that? We all too familiar with this ‘being thankful and showing you gratitude’ battle cry, in fact this is the most used phrase by the establishment, “people should be grateful/thankful for the <insert any imaginable services rendered here eg: development, peace, security, education etc> provided by the government”.
A simple analogy.
I owed you some money for some services rendered. I feigned ‘short term memory loss’ that I owed you and didn’t pay for long and then one fine day I ‘woke up’ and ‘remembered’ my debt. I finally paid you, made it public and hoo haa hoo haa about me paying you. Should you be thankful for the money you received, that is rightfully yours? Heck you should charge me interest over the period I didn’t pay up.
So, tell me. Should we thankful for what is rightfully ours? Should we be grateful about it?
ps: Sarawak, Sabah and Terengganu should ask for 20% royalty payment. 5%? is dirt cheap for the services rendered. These three states, prop up the economy of Malaysia, hello?? Don’t remind me to mention the oil palm plantations, timbers etc. in Sarawak and Sabah.
pss: To the people I owe ‘something’, yes I am very much aware of it. Please give me time to arrange for ‘payment’. Not publicly of course.
psss: We can argue on the terms to be included in ‘rightfully ours’ later.