Dummies for Dummies – by Azmin Ali

TTF: Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali doesn’t seem too bright a fellow.

According to him, the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) did not mention the word “royalty” but used the words “cash payment” instead.

But the same logic applies the other way around.

Accordingly, the PH manifesto did not mention the words “cash payment” but used the word “royalty” instead.

Under the circumstances, there is absolutely nothing stopping Petronas from reaching separate agreements with oil-producing states on the issue of royalty payments.

All the company needs to do is to make sure that the original terms of the PDA are met by issuing 5% “cash payments” to those states.

The company can then proceed to issue separate payments atop the “cash payments” and refer to those ‘additional’ payments as “oil royalty.”

This way, Petronas would not be in breach of any law and can immediately help PH fulfil its 20% royalty pledge.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) had not breached its election promise on giving 20 per cent oil royalty to oil producing states.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the use of the word royalty in PH manifesto actually meant “cash payment”, which is in line with use of the phrase in the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA).

“I wish to stress that in the Petroleum Development Act, it did not mention royalty but instead used the words cash payment.

“However, the general term that we understand is as royalty,” he said in reply to heated questions from multiple members of parliament from the east coast states as well as Sarawak.

He made the reply during his ministry’s winding-up speech.

When Azmin’s speech touched on the 20 per cent oil royalty issue, Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) stood up and demanded the minister read out the actual oil royalty promise as stated in the PH manifesto book.

Joining in the fray was Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (BN-Jeli) who asked whether people had been misled by PH’s 20 per cent oil royalty promise.

He said that the people would logically believe that the 20 per cent oil royalty promise is based on gross production as the PDA calculates royalty payments based on gross production.

When Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (PBB-Batang Sadong) sought similar clarification, Azmin whipped out PH’s manifesto book and read out from page 21, which states that PH promises to increase oil royalty to oil-producing states to 20 per cent.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) then cited Standing Order 36 (12) over Azmin allegedly confusing the Dewan Rakyat over the issue.

Taking off his spectacles, Wee squinted at his smartphone and read out the definition of royalty, which he read out as compensation or portion of proceeds paid to the owner of a oil or other mineral for use of it.

Azmin then countered that one cannot use mere royalty definition from a dictionary but its use in PDA that used the phrase “cash payment”, which is generally understood as royalty.

He cited Section 4 of the Act saying that cash payment is made based on agreement between both federal and oil-producing state governments.

Source: NST Online

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