By Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) says the federal government is behaving like a “Godfather” in refusing to pay oil royalties to Kelantan, in remarks suggesting the Kelantan prince and veteran Umno man is bent on continuing to speak out for his home state against the Najib administration.
He also pointed out in an interview with The Malaysian Insider that oil disputes had sparked the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979 and warned the federal government against denying the wishes of the public by depriving states of oil royalties.
“Ayatollah Khomeini was 91, when he led the uprising against the Shah over 30 years ago,” said the Gua Musang MP, who added the revolution was not only because the Iranian monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a dictator but because he was misusing the country’s oil revenue.
The 72-year-old Kelantan prince, who is better known as Ku Li, was quick to dismiss any suggestions that he wanted to lead any kind of revolution in Malaysia.
But he continues to persist in his attacks against the federal government, and this has clearly caused some tension with his Umno colleagues.
Today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin questioned Tengku Razaleigh’s loyalty to Umno and accused the Kelantan prince of trying to confuse the public over the oil royalty dispute.
He also defended the federal government’s refusal to pay oil royalties claimed by Kelantan, saying that it was in “accordance with law.”
In yesterday’s interview, Tengku Razaleigh said he was moving to establish a bi-partisan Federation Caucus in Parliament to examine ‘unhappy’ federal-state relations, including the dispute over oil royalties.
The federal government and the PAS-ruled Kelantan government are locked in a dispute over whether the state is entitled to five per cent royalty for oil extracted off its waters.
The Umno veteran has broken ranks with his party to weigh-in on the side of the state government by insisting Kelantan was entitled to the payments according to the Petroleum Development Act .
Tengku Razaleigh said the Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed in 1948 while Malaysia was formed in 1963, and a review was overdue.
“The Federal Government is behaving like a Godfather even though their power comes from the 13 states,” he said in likening Putrajaya’s heavy-handedness to that of the head of a criminal organization.
He added it was not only the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) led states that were unhappy with the Federal Government but also mentris besar of some Barisan Nasional (BN) states.
Despite his campaign against the federal government, Tengku Razaleigh said that Umno had nothing to fear because he is, and remains, a life member of the party.
“I am not a scheming fellow unlike some,” he said, adding a caucus was only a discussion group and a conduit for new ideas which is common in modern democracies.
He said the caucus would not be a voting bloc to oppose the government.
Sumber: Malaysia Insider