Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 3rd March 2010:
Why have the sons of the second and third Prime Ministers turned their backs on their father’s joint legacy on 5% oil royalty to the states and instead embraced the fourth Prime Minister’s distortion and violation of the petroleum agreements?
End-game to the silencing of Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or his expulsion from Umno.
This is the import and intent of the gag order announced by Umno vice president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Umno members on the Kelantan oil royalty issue which could affect the party’s image.
It is no more a question of who and what is historically right or wrong but who has the present power to impose his views on the country at the moment, right or wrong.
What the second and third Prime Ministers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, intended some 35 years ago, as ordering Razaleigh as the first Petronas Chairman “to design the Petroleum Development Act in such a way that the Malay heartland states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor and especially his beloved Pahang, would benefit directly from offshore oil beyond 3 nautical miles through the mechanism of 5 per cent cash payments made directly to the state consolidated fund” (Razaleigh’s statement) do not matter today.
Even Razak’s categorical and unequivocal commitment in Parliament on Nov. 12, 1975 in reply to my parliamentary question that “Under the agreement, each state will receive 5 per cent of the value of petroleum found and extracted from each of the states, whether onshore or offshore, that is sold by Petronas or agencies or contractors” is now regarded as utterly of no consequence or value.
Can the sons of the second and third Prime Ministers of Malaysia explain why they have turned their backs on their father’s joint legacy of 5% oil royalty to the states and instead embraced the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s distortion and violation of the petroleum agreements with the various states?
Najib and Hishammuddin should not allow political expediency and considerations, even Umno’s survival, to dishonour their father’s joint legacy to give 5% oil royalty to the states, particularly Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johore.
Those who are baying for Razaleigh’s blood, like Umno Supreme Council member Dr. Mohd Puad Zarkashi demanding for action to be taken against the Gua Musang Member of Parliament for speaking out on the Kelantan oil royalty issue, have personal political axes to grind.
They are neither interested in historic rights and wrongs nor the legacies of the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia.
Puad, for example, is hoping that in the impending Cabinet reshuffle which Najib had long been mulling over, he would make the lightning elevation to become full Cabinet Minister although he is not yet a full year as a Deputy Minister – allowing him to make a record-quick ascent up the Cabinet ladder.
There should be no gag order on the legacy of Razak and Hussein on the oil royalty issue for the states.
What Najib should do is to present a White Paper on the oil royalty issue on the first day of the forthcoming meeting of Parliament on 16th March 2010 and to schedule a special parliamentary debate on the issue.
In the White Paper, Najib should declassify all documents and papers to fully explain why for 35 years the Federal Government honoured the states’ rights to 5% oil royalty with regular payments to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak and the legal history of the change of stand of the Federal Government in 2000 to withdraw such recognition and to pay instead “wang ehsan” (compassionate payments) to the Terengganu state government – all because of PAS capture of the state in the 1999 general elections.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor