Dr M vows Kelantan will get oil royalties

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KOTA BARU: In an effort to win the support of the Kelantanese, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to pay oil royalties to the state government should the Barisan Nasional Federal Government be defeated.

Speaking to a 5,000-strong crowd at a ceramah here last night, Dr Mahathir gave his guarantee that Kelantan would enjoy the oil royalties which the state government had been demanding.

“If we win, then we can give the royalties,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

Dr Mahathir is chairman of the new Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which seeks to form a new opposition alliance to defeat the Barisan Nasional at the next general election.

The ceramah, organized by former Kota Baru MP Zaid Ibrahim, also featured Kelantan Amanah advisor Husam Musa and former Kelantan senator Rosli Ibrahim.

For years, Kelantan has been demanding payment of royalties on petroleum extracted off its coastline, as enjoyed by neighbuoring Terengganu.

The Kelantan government of the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat had filed a suit against Petronas, but the issue went quiet after Nik Aziz died in February last year.

Relations between PAS and Umno have also improved after Nik Aziz’s death, and Kelantan now receives “Wang Ehsan” from the Federal Government.