Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kota Kinabalu at Cititel Express Hotel on Friday, 26th February 2010 at 11 am:
Najib is setting the stage for drastic action by UMNO against Tengku Razaleigh for his continuing campaign against the federal government over Kelantan’s oil royalties claim
When the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last night that it was up to UMNO members to decide if action should be taken against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for continuing his campaign against the federal government over Kelantan’s oil royalties claim, the stage is set for drastic action by Umno against the Kelantan prince and elder Umno statesman.
It is clear as to what Najib meant when he made the ominour statement:” We have to hear what the party members have to say” after the Umno supreme council meeting last night.
Already, the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Umno President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had more than once expressed displeasure at Razaleigh’s unrepentant recalcitrance, openly questioned Razaleigh’s loyalty to Umno and accused him of trying to confuse the public over the oil royalty issue.
Will Razaleigh back down from the very clear ultimatum from the Umno leadership to “cease and desist” or to face severe Umno retaliation for continuing to champion the state rights not only of Kelantan but other states, particularly Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak who are directly affected by the oil royalty controversy.
Whether Razaleigh would be “disciplined” or even hounded out of Umno is an internal Umno matter but the issue he has taken an uncompromising stand concerns not only him and Umno, but larger public interests affecting not only the oil royalties but the state rights of all states in the federal system of government in Malaysia.
Razaleigh yesterday accused the Federal Government of behaving like a “Godfather” even though their power comes from the 13 states.
Today, Razaleigh has upped the ante in a Malaysian Insider report elaborating on his concerns at the signs of decline everywhere in Malaysia, saying that even Malays are getting disillusioned with the state of the nation and leaving the country.
He said: “Something must be wrong in this so-called Malay Land (Tanah Melayu) when they (Malays) are leaving.”
He said people, especially the young, are feeling uneasy over developments in the country, adding:
“There are many Malays in London who are professionals, making good money, who will not return because the environment is not right in Malaysia.”
The Prime Minister said his government’s refusal to pay oil royalties is in accordance with the law and was decided upon after consultation with various legal experts.
Najib should present a White Paper when Parliament meets on March 15 to explain why for 25 years from 1975 to 2000, the Federal Government recognised and paid five per cent oil royalties to the Terengganu state government for offshore oil produced, but refused to accord such recognition because PAS captured power in Terengganu state in the 1999 general election and paid out instead “compassionate monies” to a separate Federal Government agency.
The White Paper should declassify all documents and records of Petronas, the Attorney-General Chambers and other government agencies to explain when and why legal opinion changed from recognition of the states’ oil royalties rights for 25 years from 1975 to 2000 to refusal to recognise such state rights and to pay out instead “wang ehsan” at the discretion of the Federal Government.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor