TUMPAT (Nov 27): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has agreed to the Kelantan government’s request to discuss three matters, namely on oil, state development and water supply, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the matter was decided after a meeting between the prime minister and Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, which was also attended by state secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad last week.
“During the meeting, the menteri besar handed over a letter and the matter is being coordinated and discussed at the federal level. Three issues are raised in the letter, namely oil, development and state water supply.
“The prime minister has ordered the matters to be discussed immediately and [they] are now under consideration by the federal government,” he told reporters after a working visit to Kampung Kelong Hujung here on Saturday (Nov 27).
Mustapa said this when asked on a statement by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Parliament last Thursday that Petronas would not make cash royalty payments to any state in the peninsula, including Kelantan.
Tengku Zafrul said it is because the petroleum production site is operating outside of Kelantan’s waters.
However, Kelantan will continue to receive “wang ehsan” (goodwill payments) for the petroleum produced near its coast.
Meanwhile, Ahmad, when met by reporters at the launch of the state-level Malaysian Family Month at Kompleks Kota Darulnaim in Kota Baru, said the state government would seek a written explanation from the finance minister regarding the matter.
He said the response by Tengku Zafrul was not in line with the federal government’s previous statement on payment of petroleum royalties.
"For the record, the federal government, through the National Finance Council which met on June 7, 2018, had decided to abolish the Wang Ehsan Program and for cash payment for petroleum royalties to be channelled directly to the state government,” he said.
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