Opposition wants policy statement on RM58b oil revenue drop

Written by Yong Min Wei & Chan Kok Leong, The Edge 

Opposition lawmakers want a ministerial statement to be made on the whopping RM58 billion plunge in the national oil company’s revenue before the end of the current sitting of Dewan Rakyat, Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang said.

He said either Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak or Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah must explain the plunge in parliament by Thursday in order for lawmakers and the country to know how the government planned to deal with shortfall in view of Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) latest financial results.

“This matter is of great import, otherwise the credibility of the whole government budgeting will come into question,” he told a press conference at the parliament lobby Dec 15.

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Monday rejected Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s motion to discuss the RM58 billion revenue drop in the national oil company for the first six months of its financial year.

Petronas reported a 37.5% fall in revenue to RM98.18 billion in the first half ended Sept 30 from RM157.2 billion the same period last year. It also posted a 47.5% decline in net profit to RM20.3 billion from RM38.65 billion previously due to overall drop in product prices and lower sales volume.

According Lim, PR lawmakers wanted to know whether the government had taken into account such a serious drop in oil revenue in its annual budget, adding that the government should reveal relevant facts and figures to be accountable as it depended some 40% revenue from Petronas tax and dividend in Budget 2010.

“We don’t want a general statement but how they propose to do about it,” said the DAP adviser.