NAJIB THINKS M’SIANS ARE STUPID: HIS SPINNERS NOW SAY DR M AS MEMBER OF HIS DAD TUN RAZAK’S CABINET RESPONSIBLE FOR S’WAK’S OIL WOES – YET HE HIMSELF AS MEMBER OF DR M’S CABINET NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR FOREX LOSSES

Today, Mahathir blames the late Tun Razak for Sarawak getting only 5% oil royalty. Today, Mahathir says Sarawak was short-changed and unfairly treated. Why not Mahathir ask his one-and-only PPBM Member of Parliament, Muhyiddin Yassin, to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament (like what Abdul Hadi Awang did) and ask Parliament to increase Sarawak’s oil royalty to 50% or whatever? Do this before the next general election and we can see if Mahathir merely tok kok or whether he means what he says.

(Malaysiakini, 24 Sep 2017) – Addressing the crowd during his almost hour-long speech, Mahathir took aim at the Petroleum Development Act 1974, which was seen as the point where East Malaysia gave up its petroleum rights to the federal government in exchange for a meagre five percent royalty payment.

“In 1974, when the Petroleum Development Act was passed, I was not the prime minister. Supposedly, it was said that I was responsible but that is not right. The records are in the hansard. Who was the prime minister at that time? It was Abdul Razak Hussein, not me,” he told the crowd.

“I was prime minister for 22 years, I didn’t change the agreement with Sabah and Sarawak. I am of the opinion this agreement needs to be renegotiated between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak to make it fairer. It was not the federal government that had snatched your rights but it was the Sarawak government that gave up your rights.”

That was what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the Sarawak voters yesterday. Mahathir probably thinks that the Sarawakians such as the Dayak, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Penan, Melanau, Kelabit, etc., are all stupid.

It was Ku Li at the behest of the Cabinet who instructed Tun Salleh Abas to draft the Petroleum Development Act 1974

The Petroleum Development Act may have been passed by Parliament in 1974, but the architect behind the whole Act was Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah while Tun Salleh Abas drew up the Act, which was the first of its kind in the world (and which many other countries copied thereafter). That sort of makes Ku Li and Salleh Abas geniuses since imitation is said to be the best form of flattery.

Salleh Abas drafted the Petroleum Development Act 1974, considered one of the best in the world

And it was not the then Prime Minister Tun Razak Hussein’s sole decision. It was a Cabinet decision, and Mahathir was a member of this Cabinet. So Mahathir was not quite an innocent bystander as he tried to tell Sarawakians yesterday. And two years later Mahathir became the Deputy Prime Minister.

If Mahathir felt that Sarawak was getting a raw deal he could have said so at the Cabinet meeting in 1974. He could also have stood up to say so in Parliament before the Petroleum Development Act 1974 was passed. But the Petroleum Development Act 1974 was not the only thing that bound Sarawak to the 5% royalty clause. Sarawak (plus all the other 12 states in Malaysia, Terengganu included) had signed agreements with Petronas that specifically spelled out each state would receive a 5% royalty.

Now, Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981 and in 1982 they held a general election where Barisan Nasional won 85.71% of the seats, giving them more than two-thirds majority in Parliament. In 1982 Mahathir could have amended the Petroleum Development Act 1974 to give Sarawak, say, 20% royalty. But he did not. And he also did not for the rest of his 21 years as Prime Minister even though for the next few general elections until 1999 Barisan Nasional continued to control more than two-thirds of Parliament.

Mahathir says he has no power to increase the 5% oil royalty but has the power to remove it

Even if they did not amend the Petroleum Development Act 1974 Mahathir, as the Petronas Chairman, could still have acted because under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 Petronas does not need to report to Parliament but to just the Prime Minister. In other words, Mahathir had absolute say over Petronas and even Parliament could not interfere in what he does.

This was proven in 2000 when Mahathir terminated the 5% oil royalty for Terengganu even though the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the agreement between Petronas and Terengganu exists. Terengganu took this case to court but nothing happened. Even the court could not seem to overrule Mahathir.

Muhyiddin should table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament to ask that Sarawak’s 5% oil royalty be increased to 50% to prove they are not tok kok

So, in 2000, Mahathir terminated Terengganu’s 5% oil royalty. That means if Mahathir could terminate the 5% oil royalty he could also double it or increase it to 20%. Hence he did have the power to increase Sarawak’s royalty to 20% or more if he wanted to, contrary to what he said yesterday in Sarawak.

Today, Mahathir blames the late Tun Razak for Sarawak getting only 5% oil royalty. Today, Mahathir says Sarawak was short-changed and unfairly treated. Why not Mahathir ask his one-and-only PPBM Member of Parliament, Muhyiddin Yassin, to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament (like what Abdul Hadi Awang did) and ask Parliament to increase Sarawak’s oil royalty to 50% or whatever? Do this before the next general election and we can see if Mahathir merely tok kok or whether he means what he says.

RAJA PETRA KAMARUDDIN

– http://www.malaysia-today.net

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