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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

State Resources?

Extracted from Malaysia Today for future reference - http://mt.harapanmalaysia.com/2008/content/view/8997/1/

"Oil and gas is a State resource.

Under the terms of the Federation Agreement, oil and gas, which is a state resource, belongs to the states, 100% (just like water, timber, tin, iron, gold, coal, etc.).

However, in 1974, the federal government nationalised oil and gas and then forced all the 13 states to sign an agreement with Petronas -- whereby the newly created national oil company will become the owner of all the oil in gas and the states would just enjoy a 5% ‘commission’.

Later, the states were forced to sign a supplementary agreement stating that the 5% ‘commission’ would be officially and legally called ‘royalty’."

Are these technically true statements?

Are these fair statements?

In the case of oil producing states such as Terengganu, would such arrangements be fair to the State?

If these statements were true, why didn't Terengganu State sue the government for such an unfair arrangement? After all, Petronas most recent profit in the last 12 months was around $65 Billion, Terengganu State should be contributing a huge chunk to that figure, and the difference between 5% and 100% of Terengganu's share should still be a very, very large number?

Does the Terengganu state have a case in court?

What about Sabah?

Isn't there a huge motive for these States to sue Federal Government for what might be argued to be rightfully theirs?

Isn't there a huge motive for able lawyers to quickly offer their services to the Chief Ministers fo these States in view of the size of the potential fees if they win the case?

Or are the cases "unwinnable"? If so, should Sabah MPs cross over in light of these past events as well as Anwar's higher offer?

If Sabah MPs were to cross over, would this be a fair response, notwithstanding the ethics of crossing over?

Many questions, tough answers ...

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