Terengganu MB making wavesPosted: April 29, 2008
Now, he’s making even bigger waves, first by asking the Federal Government to “return the money that belongs to Terengganu”, and now by saying that there are projects currently in Terengganu that do not benefit the people as much as they are supposed to.
MB wants Terengganu to manage oil royalty
UALA TERENGGANU, April 21 ─ Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said yesterday asked the federal government to hand over to the state government the management of the latter’s oil royalty which amounts to nearly RM1 billion a year.
He said the time had come for the annual five per cent oil royalty, which was withdrawn in 1999 when PAS captured the state and restored later as the Federal Government Special Fund, to be fully managed by the state government to carry out more development projects.
“We want to be frank. We expect the (royalty) money to be given to us,” he told reporters here.
After PAS took over the administration of Terengganu following the 1999 general election, the Finance Ministry announced on Sept 5, 2000 that the five per cent oil royalty would be channelled directly to the people through development projects and no longer given to the state government.
Ahmad said the money, via the special fund, was channelled directly to the implementing ministries without any consultation with the state government, resulting in many projects failing to provide the desired impact as they had not taken into account the people’s needs.
“This raises problems for the state government. I am being frank here. Personally, I have been unhappy with some projects because of their high cost and lack of priority for the people. It is other people, not us, who make the decisions when we are the masters (in the state),” he said.
Full article here.
That takes guts. And gusto. So what was Idris Jusoh doing all this while when he was the MB of Terengganu?
And now, he has this to say about the projects already in process.
KEMAMAN, April 28 ─ Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said yesterday that work to deepen the Sungai Terengganu estuary and strengthen its banks as well as to upgrade the Sultan Mahmud Airport brings less benefits to the people.
However, when asked whether the state government would review the projects, he said: “No action will be taken and both projects are running as usual.
“This is because the tenders have been awarded and the state government is not involved in managing the projects.”
Speaking after meeting federal and state government department heads at the National Public Administration Institute here, he said the work on the estuary, costing over RM500 million to allow luxury vessels to pass through and berth, did not achieve its objective.
“Up to now we see the passage is not busy. In fact, it is difficult to see a vessel a day. If the passage is busy, it is okay,” he said.
On the airport upgrading project, Ahmad said the cost when it was first approved was RM250 million and it was to lengthen the runway one kilometre offshore.
“However, the State Economic Planning Unit, in a recent briefing, said the cost now had doubled, exceeding RM500 million,” he said.
He said that after looking at the two projects, the state government would now review all mega projects already planned before they are carried out to ensure they bring benefits to the people.
“We do not reject mega projects from being implemented in the state but they must bring benefits to the Terengganu people as a whole,” he said. ─ Bernama
Original article here.
Now people really begin to wonder, what exactly was Idirs Jusoh doing to Terengganu when he was MB? Or did he just not care?
The current MB seems to be sending all the right vibes, all the correct signals. Let’s hope he doesn’t end up corrupt when he sees the money, like some of this other UMNO comrades.