PETALING JAYA: The Kelantan state government has expressed disappointment with Putrajaya’s confirmation that Petronas will not be paying any oil royalty to the state.
Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz had said yesterday that there will be no oil royalty payment to any state in the peninsula, including Kelantan.
He said Kelantan would continue to receive “wang ehsan” (goodwill payment) for petroleum produced off its coast.
Kelantan deputy menteri besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said Tengku Zafrul’s announcement, which was published in HarakahDaily, was shocking.
“I personally am shocked with the statement as the state government had hoped for oil royalty from the federal government.
“We were really hoping the federal government would give the royalty to Kelantan in line with the 1975 agreement,” he said, referring to the petroleum agreement between the state and federal government.
In a written reply to the Dewan Rakyat, Tengku Zafrul said that although petroleum production was being carried out close to Kelantan, it was taking place outside the state’s waters.
He said the “wang ehsan” was to help Kelantan implement projects and programmes that would benefit the people.
Meanwhile, Pertubuhan Royalti Kelantan, a non-governmental organisation, said the Kelantan people were “shocked, angry and disappointed” with Tengku Zafrul’s stand.
Its president, Nazri Deraman said, the federal government should have honoured its agreement with Kelantan.
“Kelantan, with other states in Malaysia, agreed to hand over to Petronas the rights to the petroleum development and in return, the agreement allocated a payment of 5% from the oil revenue to Kelantan,” he said.
He said that although many efforts were undertaken by the Kelantan state government, it has yielded no results following the “unprofessional attitude” of the federal government.
In 2019, it was reported that the PAS-led Kelantan government had finally abandoned its nine-year oil royalty legal battle against Petronas and Putrajaya.