KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today assured oil-producing States that they will receive 20% of oil royalties as stated in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto.
“All (oil-producing) states, everybody will get 20% of the profit from their area. If the area produces a small amount, they will get 20% of the profit from that area. We will pay whatever is due to them, we will pay,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
Mahathir reiterated that the government is committed to paying whatever amount is due to the respective States. “This is their money. It is their royalty, they can take it.”
Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, Rantau Panjang Member of Parliament (MP) Zailah Mohd Yusoff asked Mahathir whether the government will still fulfil its promise to pay 20% oil royalties to oil- producing states in the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia.
After Mahathir assured Zailah that the federal government would pay 20% oil royalties, the MP for Kapit Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi stood up to seek clarification if Sabah and Sarawak would be entitled to 20% as well.
Mahathir then stressed that all oil-producing States are entitled to oil royalties, as the Pakatan Harapan government has no intention of siphoning money from oil royalties to strengthen any particular political party.
According to news reports, Sabah and Sarawak had previously been given 5% oil royalties while Terengganu and Kelantan had been granted “compassionate funds”.
In the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto, drafted before the 14th general election on May 9, the coalition said it would increase the royalty payment to Sabah and Sarawak, and other oil producing states, to 20% or of its value equivalent, so that the respective states can take over and fund more of their own development activities.