Ku Li’s stand on oil riles Rais

(Bernama) – Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said today he was shocked at the change in the stand of former finance minister, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, that Kelantan had the right to receive oil royalty compared to his earlier stand.

Rais said that Tengku Razaleigh’s statement on Thursday that the Kelantan state government should now get the oil royalty instead of compassionate payment was contradictory to the statement made in October 2000, and his latest statement had confused the people, especially those in Kelantan.
Rais said this to Bernama when asked to comment on Tengku Razaleigh’s statement on the oil royalty issue in his speech at the special prayers and special ceramah on the petroleum royalty at the Stadium Sultan Mohamed IV, Kota Baharu, Kelantan on Thursday, which was also attended by Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

On Oct 31, 2000, the media quoted Tengku Razaleigh as saying that in terms of the law, states in peninsular Malaysia did not have any right on the oil found outside the jurisdiction of their administration.

As such, Tengku Razaleigh, who was the Petronas Chairman in 1974 who was involved in the agreement on the payment of compassionate payment to the state governments concerned, including Terengganu and Kelantan, said the payment of oil revenue by Petronas to the state governments concerned was not given because there was a policy that it was the right of the state concerned.

Tengku Razaleigh made the statement in response to the dispute by PAS State Assemblymen on the compassionate payment at the State Legislative Assembly sitting.

Rais said Tengku Razaleigh’s statement in 2000 was very clear that all states in the peninsula did not have any right under the Petroleum Act 1974, and “when Ku Li changed his stand two nights ago, it is most surprising how he could change his actual stand expressed in late October 2000 in front of thousands of people.”

“For states thinking of making claims on the oil royalty as Kelantan is doing, they have no right under any Petroleum Act as they (oil wells) are in international waters where the Federal government had the right.

“This is the position of the international law as well as the national law. The Petroleum Act is different from the provisions under the Continental Shelf Act where Sabah and Sarawak are subjected to,” he said, adding that Tengku Razaleigh’s statement was most confusing.

“I did not expect he could ignore Umno’s official stand because he is collaborating with the opposition pact in Kelantan. This situation is also confusing to the Umno members.

“It will not be a problem if he wants to be an intermediary, but I hope he will not submit views and opinions on behalf of PAS and the opposition parties because he is still the Gua Musang Umno division head, and I hope the people understand the actual situation,” he said.