M2D : 10 tahun lalu, Terengganu tidak cukup taring untuk melawan isu royalti
25 Februari, 2010, 10:41 am
Filed under: dari kaca mata local, ekonomi | Label: ,

Pada 2001 , RPK telah menulis beberapa cadangan , bagaimana isu royalti/ehsan Terengganu pada masa itu perlu ditangani.

Sepatunya , tindakan lebih AGRESIF perlu di ambil jika Terengganu betul-betul inginkan wang royalti tersebut.

Sebaliknya negeri telah bertindak untuk membawanya ke mahkamah , tidak ke JALANAN melalui PROTES dan sebagai.

Nampak sebagai tindakan ANAK NEGERI yang baik , serta ingin memertabatkan PERPADUAN ? ..

Antara cadangan RPK pada masa itu , stesen PETRONAS perlu di boycott oleh rakyat , sehingga mereka menjelaskan wang royalti tersebut . ( Sekarang pun boleh jalan lagi ni .. )

It took nine years for them to finally wake up

Today, there is so much brouhaha about the Oil Royalty (illegally renamed ‘Wang Ehsan’) issue. Even Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has awoken and it looks like a hornets’ nest has just been stirred. On 18 February 2001, I wrote the article below called Fight Fire With Fire. On 11 April 2001, I was detained under the Internal Security Act on grounds that I am threat to national security. I was earlier also arrested under the Sedition Act on Hari Raya Haji and the police raided my house and confiscated my computer. And this article was one of those ‘grounds’ they used against me to justify my arrest and subsequent detention.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Fight Fire With Fire (Raja Petra Kamarudin, 18 February 2001)

Two weeks ago I met Ustaz Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, the Chief Minister of Terengganu, to interview him on behalf of Berita keADILan. The question I asked was how would the state fare without their RM800 million a year oil royalty and what does the state intend to do about the matter?

Three courses of action

Ustaz Hadi laid out three courses of action the state is taking. First is administrative, the second political, and the third legal.

On administrative, the state has already sent a high-powered delegation to meet the higher-ups in Petronas. On political, the State would go round explaining the issue to NGOs and political parties. Finally, on legal, the state has set up a technical committee to explore the possibility of taking Petronas to court.

With all due respect to Ustaz Hadi who I have personally known for more than 20 years (30 years now) and whom I have extremely high regards for, I feel all three avenues are a dead end and will come to naught in the end.

First of all, on the administrative route. So they have met Petronas and Petronas has not denied that a legal contract does exist between the national oil company and Terengganu. But what good does it do? Terengganu will still not get its money. It is not Petronas that refuses to pay Terengganu its money but Mahathir.

Mahathir is the real culprit – not Petronas

Under the Petroleum Development Act (144) 1974 passed by Parliament in 1974, the Prime Minister has absolute and final authority over Petronas. That’s it, Mahathir decides and dictates what Petronas does and there’s no two ways about it. And unless Terengganu talks to Mahathir personally Petronas can do absolutely nothing to help Terengganu.

More details on this Act have been included in this feature as a footnote below.

Should Terengganu then talk to Mahathir?

No way! Mahathir hates PAS from the bottom of his heart and he would rather die than give in to PAS.

Terengganu’s weak political action

So, over to option number two — political. The State is going round explaining to the people the real issue behind Terengganu’s oil royalty being withdrawn. But the people already know the facts. Why try to convert the already converted? The people do not want talk. They want action.

Can Terengganu really get a fair trial?

Finally, legal action. Does Terengganu really believe it can get a fair trial in a Malaysian court? If it does then pigs can fly. Trials and court cases in Malaysia are rigged and you can bet your last oil Dollar that the Terengganu versus Petronas court case will be heavily rigged.

Anyway, the trial will go on for ten years or more. By then Terengganu will be so broke PAS will beg UMNO to take the State off its hands (it did in 2004). UMNO can afford to wait ten years (it only had to wait three years). Can PAS? With no money in the pocket, time creeps by ever so slowly and ten years can feel like a life sentence.

No, all the above will not work. Let us not be idealistic but be realistic. Let us analyse what is really going on.

First of all, it is Mahathir and not Petronas that’s the culprit. Secondly, it is a political decision taken for political considerations and the action too is political. Lastly, stop talking and start acting.

Taking all this into consideration, immediate action is required and the action must be political and not legal or administrative.

And the type of political action to take?

Terengganu is too paranoid about being seen as “aggressive”

Before I continue I must add that Terengganu State is too paranoid about its image and is reluctant to be seen as doing anything “illegal” or “ganas”. That attitude should change. Mahathir did not care about his image or whether he is seen as ganas when he withdrew Terengganu’s oil royalty. In fact, Mahathir said no such agreement exists. If this is not ganas I don’t know what is.

Fight fire with fire

Terengganu must fight fire with fire. Terengganu must realise it is fighting for survival and its (political) life is at stake. Terengganu must “take to the streets”.

First, all East Coast rakyat should be told to boycott Petronas petrol stations. So the petrol station owners go bankrupt, but that’s the price of “war”. How can the petrol station owners continue to support Petronas when it is killing off Terengganu State anyway? Maybe they deserve to go bankrupt.

Blockades should be set up at the Petronas refinery in Kertih so that the tankers cannot get in or out. “Guards” should be placed at all Petronas petrol stations to “discourage” people from patronising the place.

This sounds confrontational and it is. Terengganu must confront Petronas. In fact, it should declare war on Petronas and whoever else cooperates with Petronas. Whether they are car owners or petrol station owners they should be treated like the enemy if they cooperate with Petronas.

Terengganu stands to lose about RM4 billion by the next general election. This is no paltry sum and the state should fight tooth and nail to get the money back. The state should also not be afraid to spend a bit of money in employing guards to enforce the statewide boycott on Petronas stations and the blockade on the oil refinery.

Petronas must be made to lose money for the money Terengganu State is losing – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Promote it at a National issue and not just a State issue

Terengganu State must see its fight with Petronas as a National battle. The state must remember that Petronas has earned a total of about RM300 billion from Terengganu since it started its operation around 25 years ago (double that now). However, it can account for only about 20% of that money.

Since under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 it says Petronas is only answerable to the Prime Minister and takes direction from the Prime Minister only, this means only the Prime Minister, and no one else, knows what happened to all that money.

The opposition Parliamentarians have been trying for years to get Petronas to reveal its accounts but it refuses to do so, saying that they need only show the accounts to the Prime Minister and to no one else. Not even Parliament has the power to direct Petronas – and to think Petronas was set up through Act of Parliament.

Petronas needs to be “stripped naked” so that Malaysians can see where all their money has gone. We are talking about hundreds of billions here. Malaysians need to know where Mahathir has stashed all this money.

Rally “People’s Power”

The State should not confine its fight to a handful of people. Get the rakyat involved. The rakyat are waiting for directions from the top.

On 25 November 2000, Dr Hatta Ramli, the political secretary to Dato Ustaz Fadzil Noor, the President of PAS, handed a Memorandum to Tun Daim protesting the withdrawal of the oil royalty. A crowd of at least 5,000 people escorted him there. Dr Hatta then announced that if the Federal government ignores this Memorandum, he would get one million people to take to the streets.

Well, the government has ignored the Memorandum. Where are the one million people? Dr Hatta should carry through his promise – or was it just a threat? He should mobilise these one million people – and I know he can if he puts his mind to it. In fact, if you can get one million people onto the streets, not only would Petronas buckle but Mahathir himself will also fall. This will be Malaysia’s equivalent of People’s Power.

Form a human barricade

There are about 3 million people in the East Coast. You don’t need all these three million but a mere percentage of them. Call the people out. Get them onto the streets. And ask them to form a human barricade and block all Petronas installations in the East Coast.

People will not be able to get in or out. All economic activities will grind to a halt. Even Mahathir’s police will be powerless. Petronas will have to either reinstate Terengganu’s oil royalty or close down.

If Terengganu cannot get the money that is rightfully theirs then let no one else get it either.


The Petroleum Development Act (Act 144) 1974

This Act covers the exploration and exploitation of petroleum, whether onshore or offshore, by a corporation in which will be vested the entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties, and privileges in respect of the said petroleum, and to control the carrying on of downstream activities and development relating to petroleum and its products.

Important clauses in this Act are:

1. A Corporation would be set up for this purpose under the Companies Act to be called Petroleum Nasional Berhad or PETRONAS for short.

2. The Corporation shall be subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister who may, from time to time, issue such direction as he may deem fit.

3. The direction so issued by the Prime Minister shall be binding on the Corporation.

4. In return for the ownership and rights, powers, liberties and privileges vested in it by virtue of this Act, the Corporation shall make to the government of the Federation and the government of any relevant State such cash payments as may be agreed between the parties concerned.


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