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I am reading with interest this report in Malaysiakini that Terengganu MB Dato Ahmad Said is asking the Federal Govt to return the management of oil royalty money fully to the state government.
Good on you Ahmad Said for having the guts to say it. Rightly, the oil royalty money is the right of Terengganu State Government, to be disbursed to the rakyat of Terengganu as they wish.
I surely agree with the Terengganu Palace that they made the right choice in appointing Dato Ahmad Said as Menteri Besar. He has balls to stand up to the Federal Government and ask what is rightly belong to the Terengganu people.
The Federal Government had no right in the first place to withhold the oil royalty, by right it should be disbursed to the Terengganu State Govt, and not converted to "Dana Khas Kerajaan Persekutuan (DKKP) atau lebih popular disebut "wang ehsan". As such, I believe under international law, Terengganu Government has the grievance to sue Federal Government for all the royalty monies due since 2000, when Federal Government started withholding the money.
Lets examine the case;
Terengganu is part of Malaysia, but before Terengganu joined the Federation, it was a sovereign state. Hence all the resources within the borders of Terengganu belongs to the rakyat of Terengganu and their head of state, the Sultan of Terengganu. IF Terengganu DID NOT joined Malaysia, like Brunei, all resources of Terengganu, oil included, would belong to the state 100%.
Now that Terengganu is part of Malaysia, and Federal Govt and Terengganu Govt made agreement that Terengganu get measly 5% royalty from their oil, Federal Govt must fulfil their promise to give the royalty money.
After all, agreement is agreement, it must be honoured. Rain or shine, whoever is in the government, Dato Seri Haji Hadi, Dato Seri Idris Jusoh or Ahmad Said. Federal Government had no right to withhold the royalty money in the first place. "Wang Ehsan" is not royalty money in any other name.
As such, the Terengganu Government still has the right to sue Federal Government the oil royalty money that has been withhold by the Federal Government since 2000.
What say you law experts out there?