Oil Royalty: let the committee play its role
At the end of July, Kelantan Menteri Besar, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was reported to have led a two-day convoy to Gua Musang to demand for oil royalty for the State.
A few days later, Nik Abdul Aziz was reported to take a sick leave.
According to a friend, it is usual for Nik Aziz to be ‘in such a way.”
For the Kelantan Pas leaders, including Nik Abdul Aziz, the oil royalty is a key issue in their political ceramah to attract the ground support.
This is because Kelantan Pas appears to be running out of issue after the policy of developing with Islam which they touted prior to this, failed to see any outcome. Its social state slogan is far from reality.
Pas also find it hard to gain more support following its cooperation with DAP which clearly opposed the implementation of hudud by Pas. How is Pas to continue with the relationship with the strange bedfellow?
Thus, Pas need to overcome its shortcoming by looking for other issue to capitalize on in order to gain the people’s support in the coming General Election.
Pas leaders will not see it as an issue to delay burying the death due to water crisis (as the dead body needs to be bath and clean before the burial) because their members are taught to accept fate.
It’s not just about the water crisis as Pas leaders pretended to forget about projects they have promised to implement to the people of Kelantan while 22 years in power.
Now they go to town with oil royalty issue claiming that they have been marginalized by the Federal government under the Barisan Nasional (BN).
As such, the announcement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that the government agreed to form a special committee to look into the cash payment for petroleum royalty for states in the East coast of Peninsula Malaysia, is a cause for concern among Pas leaders. The idea knocked them down from under their feet.
The Prime Minister at the breaking of fast in Bachok days later stated that the Central Government had never deprived the people of Kelantan including on the payment of petroleum royalty – not eve n a barrel.
The announcement received positive response from the majority of Kelantanese who are all this while been deceived by Pas leaders.
Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) described the announcement as the reflection of sincerity of the Prime Minister to the people of Kelantan so that they can together participate in the national transformation process.
According to the Minister of International Trade and Industries, Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed, the tax collected in Kelantan last year was RM360 million while the allocation channeled to the State by the Federal Government was RM5.3 billion.
Unlike other Kelantanese who are more open, Nik Abdul Aziz despite accepting the formation the oil royalty special committee and agreed to seen represent to sit in the committee, is still prejudice at the government sincere move.
The people of Kelantan should evaluate with sincere heart and asked why the Pas government takes confrontational attitude over the proposal.
Islam commands its followers to sit down and discuss outstanding issues with an open mind. Why does Pas fail to adhere to the noble teaching of Islam which it claims to be the basis and foundation of its struggle?
What is the motive of Pas government in wanting the royalty to be paid in cash and willing to spend time and money to file its demand in court?
The Federal government argues that it had channel the petroleum revenue through the distribution of “wang ihsan” although the State is said to be ineligible for the oil royalty.
Pas leaders and legislators are living a different lifestyle since 22 years Pas in power, by going around in posh cars and even some of their leaders are rarely seen going around skullcaps as they used to do.
Is it not better for the Pas State government to give the committee the chance to play its role as it has its representative to voice out its view?This is because oil royalty is not the Pas or BN issue but what and how it benefits the people through the new approach of oil royalty distribution
That is what the Kelantanese have wanted and not the prejudicial attitude and suspicion against the Federal government, which in the end will have an impact on them and not Pas or anybody else.