Petronas can afford RM30 billion payout, says Dr M

(Bernama) – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today rejected claims that Petronas’ RM30 billion special payment to the government would affect its operations.

“Petronas wouldn’t give the money if it affects their operations. They are able to spare the RM30 billion,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 33rd Asean Summit here.

“They used to give us RM80 billion when the price of oil was at US$120 (per barrel)… what is RM30 billion? RM30 billion is because the price of oil is at US$70 per barrel.”

He also reiterated that Malaysia was not dependent on oil revenue.

“I have already pointed out that 80% of exports are manufactured goods, not oil. We are not dependent on oil.”

In Budget 2019 announced earlier this month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Putrajaya expected to receive revenue of RM261.8 billion next year, including a one-off special dividend payment of RM30 billion from Petronas.

This would push Petronas’ total dividend commitment to RM54 billion to help the government in the repayment of the goods and services tax and income tax refunds of RM37 billion.