TUMPAT – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Barisan Nasional (BN) will use the Pengkalan Kubor by-election to explain the oil royalty issue.
He said BN will use the opportunity to refute slander that Petronas had yet to pay oil royalty amounting to RM12 billion to the Kelantan government.
Speaking to reporters after the nomination process for the Pengkalan Kubor by-election at the Tumpat Land and District Office here today, he said the BN would explain to the people of Kelantan that the oil royalty issue was slander by the opposition against the federal government.
“I wish to clarify that the accusations being hurled (on oil royalty) are slander and serious.
“Petronas is a government owned company that practises transparency and accountability. The area (for oil exploration) entails cooperation with Thailand and the distance is more than three nautical miles, which means it does not belong to the (Kelantan) state government,” he said.
Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman, also challenged PAS to investigate from all angles and furnish specific proof to its claim that Petronas and the federal government did not pay the RM12 billion in oil royalty to Kelantan.
“We are open to this and they can check wherever they want and raise any doubts with us,” he said.
Despite the accusations, he said the federal government as a caring government had agreed to extend “wang ehsan” (compassionate aid) to Kelantan which now totalled RM140 million.
He said the federal goverment and Petronas before this had denied oil royalty was due to Kelantan and as such hoped PAS would stop make baseless accusations on the matter because this was a big sin in Islam.
“They blame us and make us look as though we are the bad guys. We have nothing to hide and as I said, they can make checks with Petronas on this,” he added. – BERNAMA