Petroleum royalty among three requests by Kelantan being considered by Federal govt, says Mustapa

TUMPAT: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has agreed to the Kelantan government's request to discuss three matters, namely on oil, state development and water supply, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic).

He said the matter was decided after a meeting between the prime minister and Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, which was also attended by State Secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad last week.

"During the meeting, the Menteri Besar handed over a letter and the matter is being coordinated and discussed at the Federal level. Three issues are raised in the letter, namely on oil, development and state water supply.

"The Prime Minister has ordered the matters to be discussed immediately and are now under consideration by the Federal government," he told reporters after a working visit to Kampung Kelong Hujung, here on Saturday (Nov 27).

Mustapa said this when asked on a statement by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Parliament last Thursday (Nov 25) that Petronas would not make cash royalty payments to any state in the peninsula, including Kelantan.

Tengku Zafrul said it was because the petroleum production site was operating outside of Kelantan's waters.

However, Kelantan would continue to receive "wang ehsan" (goodwill payments) for the petroleum that was produced near its coast

Meanwhile, Ahmad, when met by reporters at the launch of the state-level Malaysian Family Month at Kompleks Kota Darulnaim, in Kota Bharu, said the state government would seek a written explanation from the Finance Minister regarding the matter.

He said the respond by Tengku Zafrul was not in line with the federal government's previous statement on payment of petroleum royalties.

"For the record, the Federal government, through the National Finance Council which met on June 7, 2018, had decided to abolish the Wang Ehsan Program and cash payment for petroleum royalty to be channelled directly to the state government," he said. - Bernama

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