Najib: Opposition would bankrupt the country over fuel subsidy

(The Star) – The opposition’s promises to reduce oil prices if it were to form a government will only bankrupt the country, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was “just not possible” for the opposition to bring fuel prices down, pointing out that they were only fooling the people with empty promises. 

He said claims that the opposition would channel Petronas profits into subsidising fuel prices did not make sense as current oil prices were on a record high. 

“Say, if Petronas makes RM70bil or RM80bil (and) they want to channel it for fuel subsidy. Then where will the government obtain funds for building roads, hospitals and other amenities?” Najib said at the Tuaran Tamu Besar and Cultural Carnival here yesterday. 

He said that despite escalating world fuel prices, the Barisan Nasional government was able to maintain the lowest prices compared to most countries in the region. 

“We can sustain our oil production until 2011 if no new oilfields are found.  

“After that, from being an exporter, we will become an importer of oil,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s current oil production was not as large as countries in the Middle East. 

Najib also questioned an opposition claim in Tuaran that a Kadazandusun university student had dropped out because of financial problems. 

“I want to ask them to show us this student. I will ensure that she gets a full scholarship to continue her studies,” he said. 

Tuaran, a rustic town at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, has lately become a hive of opposition political activity after the appointment of local lawyer Ansari Abdullah as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state liaison chief. 

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, in his speech, slammed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for promising the people that he would increase the 5% oil royalty for the state. 

“He never talked about oil royalty issues when he was Finance Minister,” Musa said, adding that Sabah had been well compensated with over RM20bil in Federal development projects. 

Najib also said the Federal Government had approved the building of a new RM120mil hospital for Tuaran.  

He also announced that a RM13mil water treatment plant and upgrading project in Telibong would be ready in April next year.