Vice-president Chua Jui Meng has again shot at the wrong foot when he claimed that the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) has not even been set up to secure the future of Malaysians when the oil wells run dry. His claimed did not only reflect his shallow knowledge on the issue that he intended to raise to rally support or at present prevent the declining support his party and the opposition are facing but made him look like a fool.
Chua had question the existence of such fund in Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on Nov 7, claiming further that only the Prime Minister is privy to PETRONAS accounts. In fact, his claims, made probably with the purpose to divert the heavy onslaught the oppositions are facing with the revelations of their weaknesses, has made him look un-intelligent given the fact he was a former minister of the Cabinet.
Reliable sources revealed that the National Trust Fund (NTF) or also known as Kumpulan Wang Amanah Negara (KWAN) was established on 19 February, 1988, under the National Trust Fund Act 1988 (Act 339). They said the Act was enacted by Yang Dipertuan Agong with the advice and consent of Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat in Parliament.
They added that the NTF was established, amongst others, to ensure optimum utilisation of the depleting natural resources of the country with the view to provide a continuous source of revenue for the benefit of future generations. “Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has been entrusted to manage and administer the NTF to ensure that it is properly managed and invested.
Under the Act, contribution to the NTF is not only made by PETRONAS but amongst others, also by any State in Malaysia which derives any form of royalty from exploitation of petroleum or other depleting resources,” one of them added. The sources said since the establishment of the NTF, PETRONAS has been the only contributor to the NTF and until 2010, has been contributing RM100 million per annum into the NTF.
They added that PETRONAS had recently raised the bar and made a commitment for its onward contribution until 2020 on a formula based on Weighted Average Realised Price of Oil. “Based on this, PETRONAS’ contribution in 2011 (paid in March 2012) was RM1 billion. Thus far, NTF’s total asset has been derived entirely from PETRONAS. “Information pertaining to the NTF has been publically made known via PETRONAS media releases and similar explanations have been given as response to a parliamentary question in June 2011,” one of the sources added.
On the claim that only the Prime Minister is privy to PETRONAS’ accounts and finances, Chua has again made himself looked like he is ignorant of government procedures and access to information. A source said as a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1965, PETRONAS is required to prepare its financial reports in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
“These financial reports are audited by internationally accredited auditors and prepared based on global accounting standards. “PETRONAS also publishes its financial reports annually and these reports are made available on PETRONAS’ website and could be downloaded by members of the public. “In addition, PETRONAS also announces its quarterly financial results to the media, which then gets reported in all major dailies and financial newspapers. “And all these are also available on PETRONAS websites,” he added.
About the claim of giving away two oil fields to Brunei, for Chua’s and public’s information, the “2 oil fields” referred to are in actual fact two exploration blocks which then were disputed between Malaysia and Brunei. This matter has been resolved between the two countries in an Exchange of Letters, which include a mutually beneficial commercial arrangement.