Where is the oil fund?

Chua Jui Meng

How many more financial scandals that have emptied our national coffers can Malaysia afford?

By Chua Jui Meng, FMT

The RM250 million Cowgate fracas has hardly settled and now we have the RM40 million Sabah Umno crony scandal.

If the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) had not been hijacked, low-income Malaysians today would be enjoying affordable beef.

We will not be paying about RM27 for a kilogramme of beef now when it was only about RM7 per kg in 2000.

The NFC project would have been successful if the RM250 million had been distributed to 1,000 experienced cattle breeders nationwide, with each getting RM250,000 to expand their herd of cattle.

What knowledge or credentials do Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s husband and her children have to justify them to be given the project allocation?

Now we have Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz’s defence of Sabah Umno crony timber tycoon Michael Chia.

After defending Chia in Parliament, saying there was nothing wrong with Chia carrying RM40 million in a suitcase for Sabah Umno, we are shocked by his son Nedim’s connection with Chia.

Nedim was seen driving a more than RM500,000 Hummer registered in the name of Michael Chia. Not only that, pictures of Nedim wearing a Richard Mille Tourbillon (model RM 002 V2) watch worth RM1,072,000 have surfaced in social network Facebook.

What is happening to Malaysia and its ruling lawmakers? Scandals that expose their enormous wealth are surfacing regularly while our RM502 billion federal debt continues to climb.

How many more financial scandals that have emptied our national coffers can Malaysia afford?

Petroleum fund

Petronas was set up in 1974 and its first CEO Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah recently revealed that there were plans for the establishment of a Tabung Warisan Petrolium (National Petroleum Heritage Fund) for the future of Malaysians when our oil wells run dry.

Has there been any such oil fund set up? As far as I know there has never been a disclosure by the government of the existence of such a fund.

With the billions or even trillions of ringgit in oil revenue over some four decades, there is absolutely no excuse that is acceptable to Malaysians for this tragic betrayal of the people’s trust by our “oil sheikhs … Mahathir, Abdullah and Najib”.

Norway, where they have oil in the North Sea, the country’s oil fund known as Norway Pension Fund stands at US$656 billion or RM2 trillion. And the country has a population of only five million people.

UAE-Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s oil-revenue sovereign wealth fund is at US$627 billion or RM1.9 trillion.

Almost all oil producing countries have established their own oil funds for their peoples’ future but not Malaysia. This is a serious indictment of the present regime.

Instead, after 55 years, the corrupt BN government has given us a RM502 billion federal debt that is fast growing.

The Petroleum Act 1974 must also be amended to remove the prime minister’s absolute powers over Petronas and its finances.

Now, no one has the right to question the prime minister’s decision. Only the prime minister, not even his deputy, is privy to Petronas’ accounts.

Living in debt

Pakatan Rakyat has pledged to make Petronas accountable to Parliament and this should lead to the establishment of the long awaited National Petroleum Heritage Fund.

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