Diving straight into the matter, take a look at People need to know where Petronas’ contribution to Govt has gone in The Star Online today. Jagdev Singh Sidhu's op-ed piece highlights a few things that bears reproducing here.
Petronas’ contribution to the Government’s revenue from FY04 to FY07 was RM140bil. Including the latest financial year's payment of RM62.8bil, the total would be RM202 billion. That was slightly more than half of the total RM403bil it had paid the Government since its inception in 1974.
And, the report says further, that, Based on the latest payment of RM62.8bil , Petronas said its contribution to the Government’s revenue was 44%. If the taxes of all the other oil and gas companies were added, then the oil and gas sector would account for slightly more than half of total government revenue.
The RM202 billion question posed by the report is, They (the analysts) also wonder: How wisely has the windfall over the past few years been actually spent?
Sometimes, a question posed at the wrong time will fall on deaf ears. In the current national ethos, the question of the manner in which the Petronas largesse has been utilised between 2004 to 2008 is a very compelling one indeed.
But, unlike the usual pithy (dare I hope?), opinionated and ascerbic analysis, I wish to draw your kind attention to the tireless effort of this tenacious man by giving a Google URL on the many times during which he has raised the issue of the manner in which Petronas' largesse has been used/abused by the BN federal govt. I must declare that I'm not a fan of his, nor do I think his level of analysis has been up to mark at times (maybe due to political necessity) but, I admire this man's chops, his gumption, his industriousness but, not his shrill stridency or his speaking style. But to give credit where credit is due, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lim Kit Siang.