Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Is this the start of CHANGE in Malaysia?
There is an ongoing tussle between states and the federal government about oil royalties especially in Kelantan and Terrengganu.
It seems that the state gets a royalty only for oil mined 2 miles from the shore and anything beyond that goes to the federal government.
You will remember that the federal government even stopped paying the royalty to the Terrengganu government directly when the state fell to the opposition but instead appointed federal officers to administer the fund.
To me, the federal government appears to be cheating the states as even though the state government is in the opposition hands, that does not give the federal government the right to withhold payment to the state.
Apart from cheating the citizens of the state who elected the state government, this kind of high-handed and unethical behaviour damages the relationship that exists between the state and federal governments.
It is the right of a democracy that voters get to choose their state and federal governments. The PM has offered to make some payments to Kelantan but the category falls under "pity" and not "rights".
So the latest article in malaysiakini "Ku Li to head oil royalty caucus" is an interesting development and can show the way how a better working relationship can be worked out between the state and federal governments.
If Malaysia is to prosper and succeed to become a developed nation, all leaders must accept that whoever is in charge at Putrajaya must be fair to all states whether or not it is controlled by opposition parties.
Apart from oil royalties, I also suggest that each state be entitled to a development grant equal to 20% of all taxes collected by the federal government from each state.
My opinion is that states should be given more autonomy as too many projects emanating from the EPU have not benefitted the taxpayers much.

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