KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government is committed to fulfiling its promises which include channeling oil royalty to the two east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali assured that the rights of the two states will always be respected and that the channeling of oil royalties depend on the country’s economic situation.
“In regards to the oil royalty for the two states (Kelantan and Terengganu), I give my commitment that the new government led by Langkawi (the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) will ensure that what we had promised will be fulfiled.
“It is not just the giving of oil royalty that was delayed but also the Malaysian economy requires re-calibration to ascertain priorities to ensure the smooth running of the country’s administration and economic growth.
“The right of the Terengganu state government will not only be respected but we will also be responsible in fulfiling.
“In Kelantan’s case, it is a bit different. We did not pay (oil royalty) as you sued us. However, I read the statement by the Kelantan MB (Menteri Besar) on withdrawing the lawsuit on Petronas and the federal government.
“This will create a conducive environment for immediate resolution that is fair and equitable (to the oil royalty issue),” he said during a speech wrapping-up the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) at the Dewan Rakyat here.
Azmin was answering questions from Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (Pas-Kuala Nerus) over oil royalty claim by Terengganu, and Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (Pas-Rantau Panjang) over oil royalty that has never been paid by the federal government to Kelantan.
Khairuddin wanted to know when the remaining RM500 million oil royalty would be channelled to Terengganu, as an earlier RM200 million had already been given to the state government. On Oct 24, it was reported that Kelantan MB Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the state government would withdraw the lawsuit against the federal government and state oil company Petronas over oil royalty.
Meanwhile today, Azmin reiterated the federal government’s commitment to ensure equitable allocation of development funds to all states regardless of whether they were part of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition or under the opposition. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd