KOTA BARU: The federal government has decided to give Kelantan RM20mil as compassionate fund, due under an oil and gas production arrangement, in March, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the decision was made after discussions with Petronas recently.
“It involves revenue from oil and gas production in the South Earth Platform, Block PM301, close to Kelantan waters.
“The RM20mil is 5% of the total revenue from the block since May 2008,” he told reporters after opening a forum on the compassionate fund, here Tuesday night. Over 5,000 people attended the forum.
Mustapa, who is also chairman of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee, said the Kelantan government’s claim for RM11bil in oil royalty was extreme as the oil production was not that high.
“We wish to clarify that oil production at Block PM302, revenue from which is also being claimed, is jointly shared with Thailand under the Malaysia-Thailand joint development area since 1979.
“The revenue shared is only RM800mil and it cannot be shared with Kelantan because the oil production is in an overlapping area between the two countries,” he said.
He added that the federal government could not hand over the RM20mil to be administered by the state government for fear the compassionate fund would be misused.
He said the money would be utilised to benefit the people of Kelantan in terms of education, eradication of poverty and other needs deemed necessary by a special committee.
“We are disappointed that (Mentri Besar Datuk) Nik (Abdul) Aziz (Nik Mat) has rejected our invitation for him to join the committee,” he said.
Mustapa said Umno had to explain the oil royalty issue so that the people knew that it was raised by the Kelantan government to divert attention away from the Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated issue and the Bazaar Tok Guru issue.
“The issue was raised purely for the sake of politics and we know that it will be used as a weapon in the next general election,” he added.
Tomorrow, the state government and a non-governmental organisation on the oil royalty claim are scheduled to organise a gathering at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium.
It is expected to be attended also by Nik Aziz and former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Mustapa challenged Kelantan to bring its oil royalty claim to court if it felt it was in the right, but said the state government was afraid to do so because it knew it was not in the right.
Meanwhile, Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali said he was prepared to bring the matter to court, just to prove that PAS was afraid to do so because the matter was raised purely for the sake of politics.
“I give the PAS-led Kelantan government one month from today to bring the matter to court or I will do it myself,” he told reporters after the forum, at which he was a panel member.
Ibrahim, who is president of Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Negara (Perkasa), said PAS was afraid to bring the issue to court because the party would not be able to discuss the oil royalty issue in public once the matter is in the courts due to subjudice contempt.
He said he was disappointed that the oil royalty issue had been used as a subject for Friday sermons in the state, adding that it was being used as political capital by the state government to garner the sympathy of the people. -- Bernama