Archive for category Oil

Tolls and hikes short-circuiting Malaysian future

S RAMAKRISHNAN | 12:47PM Jan 2, 2014

COMMENT The simultaneous increase in fuel and sugar prices, electricity tariff and toll hikes have got Malaysians worried and bewildered as to how they will manage their household expenses. Compounding matters will be the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will kick in in 2015. The already weakened ringgit and the sudden withdrawal of subsidies on essential goods will hit hard where it hurts most – the pocket.

Not unlike Marie Antoinette, the prime minister is obstinately insisting that the people can afford these massive hikes. Talk about telling the masses to eat cake, he adds insult to injury by saying these increase are not a burden!

The entire cabinet and prime minister suddenly woke up from their slumber. It dawned on them that the budget deficit, huge public and household debt have to be narrowed. What is shocking is that for 16 continuous years, the deficit and the mounting debt did not raise any alarm bells.

In fact the pro-government economists and mainstream media stoically reminded the rakyat that economic fundamentals were positive and our country is on track to become a developed nation by 2020. But all that propaganda did not convince the world. Fitch Rating Agency, in a startling report, downgraded Malaysia from stable to negative. And the game was up.

The media propaganda failed and even more frightening, instead of being developed Malaysia, by 2020, may be a bankrupt nation!

The acrimonious Fitch report had a jolting effect that aroused the Malaysian government from its deep slumber and self-delusion. It suddenly dawned upon the cabinet that the lies they had believed to be the truth, were, in fact, lies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Power tariff – the last straw that broke the camel’s back?

Liew Chin Tong
Dec 6, 2013


The spate of new taxes and price hikes, the latest being the electricity tariff hike, have caused me to doubt whether the government under Najib Abdul Razak has any idea about the macroeconomic risks that Malaysia faces.

Against the backdrop of an uncertain global economy and the likeliness of the quantitative easing tapering, domestic demand is crucial in sustaining the Malaysian economy. Yet the spate of new taxes and price hikes will produce an opposite result: the further decline of domestic demand.

Will the electricity tariff increase become the last straw on the camel’s back that will see the Malaysian economy collapsing due to the confluence of several domestic and global factors?

The electricity tariff will be increased by an average of about 14.89 percent for Peninsular Malaysia, and by about 17 percent for Sabah and Labuan from next year.

The average electricity tariff in Peninsular Malaysia will be up 4.99 sen per kWh or 14.89 percent from the current average rate of 33.54 sen/kWh to 38.53 sen/kWh.

For Sabah and Labuan, the average tariff will be up 5 sen per kWh or 16.9 percent from current average rate of 29.52 sen per kWh to 34.52 sen per kWh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zul’s shallow apology

by Kunjuraman Karuppan
The Malaysian Insider
April 22, 2013

APRIL 22 — Does Datuk Zulkifli Noordin think his shallow apology to the Indians helps his cause in Shah Alam?

Does the Perkasa vice-president standing on a Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket think he can blame the Pakatan Rakyat for his congenital racism?

How does he imagine all this will help him go against Khalid Samad in Shah Alam and win “101 per cent” in the May 5 general election?

Khalid was the one MP who stood side by side with the Indian community after the cow-head protest in Shah Alam even when it was not the politically smart thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Petronas dilemma

MARCH 8, 2013

Oil is all about access, not production. And therefore only those who have access to the black gold can pump up extraordinary profits.

It is estimated that three quarters of the world’s 1,653 billion barrels of proven oil reserves are in the hands of national oil companies with no foreign participation. Many of them are in the OPEC cartel. That’s how they have managed to control supply and keep oil prices soaring.

Then you have the anomaly – the so-called century old multi-national oil companies, ExxonMobil Corp, The Royal Dutch/Shell Group, BP and Chevron Corp – who used to own the oil world. Now they offer their expertise and know-how to any country who will lend them access…and still make extraordinary profits (minus pollution payouts) because they have established markets everywhere…

But therein lies Petronas’ dilemma, a young upstart of 38 years which has neither full know-how nor international access or great oil assets. It is struggling between transforming into an international major oil company or staying as a national oil concern. Fairly speaking, Petronas is now neither here nor there.

One long-time observer of the company put it unkindly : “They are earning a reputation for biting off more than they can chew.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Oil Trading: Dark Side of PETRONAS

By Koon Yew Yin

Last week, the international financial media carried the story that Canada intended to block the planned $5.3bn acquisition of Calgary-based Progress Energy Resources by Petronas. According to these reports, the country’s industry minister, Christian Paradis had issued a statement saying he had written to Petronas saying he was “not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada”.

Much of the subsequent analysis has focused on questions related to Canada’s policy on foreign takeovers and its investment policy especially with regard to foreign state-owned entities. This should be of little interest to us.

Of greater interest to Malaysians should be how the Petronas takeover of Progress will benefit our country. Is it in our best interests? What are the pros and cons of this very expensive takeover? Let us always remember that the company belongs to all Malaysians, and not simply to the government of the day or a group of company directors.

Petronas has done well. Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in many countries. The group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining. Oil trading is one of the key activities of the group.
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Tweets from Sabah (4) – 20% oil royalty and Janji Ditepati public hearings

Tweets @limkitsiang:

My 4day 500km visit of Sabah (KotaMarudu TipOfBorneo Kudat Matunggong Ranau Penampang Tawau Sandakan) w MP LimLipEng eye-opener 4JTD by BN

Aug 21, 5:50pm
Suggested in Tawau PM Najib conduct daily “Janji Ditepati” dialogues in 23 Sabah districts from 1-16 Sept 2hear views Sabah’s 49yrs in Msia

Aug 21, 5:55pm
Dare Najib hold daily “Janji Ditepati” dialogues in Sabah? Of cos not as he will b drowned with “Janji Tidak Ditepati” grouses by Sbh ppl!

Aug 21, 8:08pm
Capacity crowd @ DAP Karamunting ceramah – increasingly powerful popular support 4change. The longer delay in 13GE greater pressure 4UBAH

Aug 22, 6:29am
Time 2chk Sandakan decline n restoration of its former glory. Once “Little Hong Kong”, Sandakan has degraded 2 become “Little Philippines”.
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Najib’s voodoo economics

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 11, 2012

AUG 11 — Why is the government fudging over the issue of giving back what it owes the Kelantan government? That’s RM7.4 billion. The deal and agreement was signed between the Kelantan government and the federal government represented by the first chairman of Petronas, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Why the double talk? Why the need to form a special committee overseeing the payment of oil money owed? Is it because Umno is so accustomed to playing the role of the rent seeker?

I have asked earlier, wouldn’t it save public funds if the government asks Tengku Razaleigh what the agreement entails? He is still Umno, right? So why is he treated with mistrust? Najib was carrying his bag when he was working for Tengku Razaleigh.

And why is it the federal government implicitly mistrusts the Terengganu government by controlling the oil royalties that should be given to Terengganu? During Abdullah Badawi’s time, the appointment of the oil money was effectively controlled by Patrick Lim and his cohorts. Terengganu’s money was being managed by people at the Federal level because the Terengganu folks won’t know how to handle the money.

So you have the floating mosques, the crystal mosque, the Monsoon Cup complexes, a village consisting of a constellation of RM1 million holiday homes in Pulau Duyung and all that. Every kilometre, you have grandiose mosques built where polyclinics are more needed. You have ample number of mosques in Terengganu. Read the rest of this entry »

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The tyranny of the Umno media

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 06, 2012

AUG 6 — I haven’t watched TV3 for a very long time. During the weekend I found myself without my laptop and I don’t own any iPad either. So with nothing to do, I found myself having to watch the propaganda mouthpiece of the Umno/BN government.

What I saw confirmed what I have been saying for a long time. It’s a one-sided communication means whereby the government of the day, because it can, by virtue of controlling the federal government, spread lies and deliberate disinformation and cuckold the minds of the public.

Immediately you are bombarded with what Umno and BN is doing. It is clear Umno/BN does not want an enlightened and informed public. What it wants is to glorify what little achievements the PM accomplished —distributing zakat from the bank the government owns (meaning if PR wins, it can do the same), frying murtabak here and distributing the delicacy to seemingly starving people. Are we not ashamed to see so many people are poor in the PM’s backyard and then we are subjected to his hypocritical speech about what Allah likes and doesn’t like. It is just an elaborate PR exercise extolling the form rather than substance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Isu royalti minyak Kelantan: Perjanjian yang tidak dihormati

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 04, 2012

4 OGOS — Semalam (Jumaat) Menteri Besar Kelantan, Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, telah menerima surat dari Perdana Menteri Najib meminta kerajaan Kelantan menghantar wakil untuk berbincang tentang royalti minyak yang menjadi tuntutan rakyat negeri itu sejak beberapa lama yang lalu.

Jumlah tuntutan tertunggak ialah sebanyak RM7.4 billion dan sampainya surat ini menunjukkan bahawa rakyat Kelantan merupakan rakyat yang faham tentang apa yang mereka inginkan sebagai rakyat sebuah negeri yang menjadi sebahagian dari sebuah negara Persekutuan ini.

Saya secara peribadi menerima berita ini dengan perasaan yang agak lega walaupun kita belum tahu lagi keputusan perbincangan itu jika ia benar-benar diadakan. Kita berharap perbincangan ini benar-benar melaksanakan slogan “Janji Ditepati” yang juga dengan rasa tidak malu menggunakannya sebagai slogan hari kemerdekaan negara tahun ini.

Jika berjaya pun perbincangan itu, pembayarannya mesti berlaku sebelum pilihanraya ini kerana jika persetujuan untuk menghormati perjanjian yang ditandatangani di antara Petronas dan kerajaan Kelantan pada 27hb Mei 1975 dahulu. Perjanjian itu ditandatangani oleh Tengku Razaleigh yang mewakili Petronas dengan Menteri Besar PAS, Datuk Mohammad Nasir. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Petronas an ungrateful child of Malaysia?

Anas Alam Faizli
Free Malaysia Today
July 12, 2012

In early June Petronas hinted publicly at the World Gas Conference that they are tired of being the Malaysian government’s cash cow. They said no to fuel subsidy and last year they said they wanted to pay less dividends! Is Petronas ungrateful? The money belongs to the rakyat anyway and hence the government.

While many have attempted to comment on the sustainability of Petronas’ payouts, this article aims to give some insights into the realities of the local oil & gas industry, and why returning all oil harvests back to Malaysians may not benefit them in the longer run.

In 1974, Petronas, fully owned by the government of Malaysia, was established and given full ownership and control of our Petroleum reserves. Today, it has evolved into a fully integrated oil and gas multinational corporation, ranked among FORTUNE 500’s largest and most profitable oil and gas corporations with a total workforce of more than 30,000. Read the rest of this entry »

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Huge O&G growth a poser for Malaysia’s future

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 22, 2012

The government would be unable to finance its operational expenditure without oil revenues, according to the World Bank. When last year’s investment figures were released yesterday, one statistic stood out — the stunning 132.7 per cent growth in the mining sector — and painted a picture of a two-speed economy where oil-and-gas was booming while other sectors grew slowly or even registered declining investment.

This comes as the World Bank warned last November that Malaysia is too dependent on fossil fuel revenues, with its non-oil primary deficit having doubled in the last five years to almost 20 per cent of GDP.

The other concern is that oil and gas would continue to compete for talent and funds that could be used to broaden the country’s economic and wealth base, especially in home-grown science and high technology, areas in which Malaysia is an insignificant player. Read the rest of this entry »

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5 transformation measures for Malaysia

Proposals which would have given meaning to 2012 Budget as a National Transformation Policy

The theme of of the 2012 Budget is: “National Transformation Policy: Welfare for the Rakyat, Wellbeing of the Nation.”

It is supposed to be a very important budget as it is open up a new decade of National Transformation Policy or DTN effective from 2011 to 2020 when Malaysia is to become developed and high-income nation.

The National Transformation Policy is the final lap of development policies starting with the New Economic Policy 1971-1990, National Development Policy 1991-2000 and the national Vision Policy 2001-2010.

But is there “transformational” in the 2012 Budget which is to usher in a decade of transformation in Malaysia? I can’t find anything transformational or even visionary at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor oil terminal in rescue talks with investor, says contractor

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 17, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Asia Petroleum Hub (APH) is in talks with an investor to fully finance its troubled multibillion-dollar oil terminal in Johor, one of its main contractors said today.

Muhibbah Engineering Bhd said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia that APH “has identified an investor and was in negotiations with the investor to fully finance the completion of the APH hub project, including making due payments to contractors.”

Singapore Business Times (BT) had reported on Wednesday that financier CIMB Bank had placed APH under receivership over a RM1.4 billion three-year bridge loan granted in 2006.

APH drew down RM840 million for project costs but executives told BT that costs had escalated and APH was looking for investors for a further RM2 billion in new financing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng: royal commission on IPPs, PPAs

Jun 12, 11

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has challenged the BN-led foreign government to set up a royal commission of inquiry into the issue of independent power producers and the related matter of power purchase agreements (PPA).

In this way, all PPAs and other PPAs would be disclosed and it could be determined once and for all whether the government has been equitable in its energy subsidy cuts for end consumers while maintaining lopsided arrangements with the IPPs that supply power to utility firm TNB, said Lim.

Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, was echoing an earlier statement by Umno stalwart Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that an RCI should be set up to review TNB’s contracts with the 26 IPPs currently producing about 60 percent of the TNB’s energy supply.

“The RCI would determine how severely the lopsided deals are burdening consumers with the rise in electricity tariffs and introduce measures to either reduce or remove this huge financial burden on the people,” said Lim in a statement today. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP: Opposition pressure forced Putrajaya to postpone subsidy cuts

By Clara Chooi | May 26, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — The DAP triumphed today in Putrajaya’s postponement of fuel and gas subsidy cuts, claiming it was largely due to opposition pressure that forced the government to back down.

It however warned that the celebration would likely be short-lived, predicting that the cuts would be imposed after snap elections.
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IPPs: A case of the poor subsiding the rich

Malaysiakini Your Say | May 26, 11

‘Why is it that one minister called it ‘subsidy’ but another minister said it is not. This is ridiculous BN ways at work.’

Chin’s ‘savings, not subsidy’ remark shocks DAP

Onyourtoes: I think both Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin are missing the fundamental issues on IPPs (independent power producers):
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Minister: Fuel prices to stay, for now

By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 25, 11

The government will maintain petrol, diesel and liquified petroluem gas (LPG) prices for now, said Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri.

This was decided by cabinet earlier this morning, said Ismail (left) during a press conference at about 3.45pm today.
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Across the Causeway, pump prices dip

The Malaysian Insider | May 24, 2011

SINGAPORE, May 24 — Pump prices for petrol and diesel fell for the second time in as many weeks as simmering worries about the global economy weighed on oil prices.
US oil giant Caltex made the first move when it lowered pump prices by three cents a litre across the board at 6pm yesterday, the Straits Times daily reported today.

The island republic’s Singapore Petroleum Co (SPC) matched the reduction at 7pm, followed by Anglo-Dutch giant Shell at 9pm.
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Two parliamentary questions on Najib’s three strategic initiatives to transform Malaysia but which have run aground

In the forthcoming parliamentary meeting beginning on Monday, I have given notice to pose two questions to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on his three strategic initiatives to transform Malaysia but which have run aground because of strong opposition mostly from Umno and its outsourced organizations like Perkasa.

These three initiatives of Najib are his three strategic pillars which make up his roadmap to achieving Vision 2020 – an high-income advanced nation with inclusiveness and sustainability by 2020:

  • 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now;

  • Government Transformation Programme; and

  • New Economic Model.

My two questions are to ask the Prime Minister:

  • how many Ministers in his Cabinet, naming them, regard himself/herself as Malaysian first, race second in keeping with 1Malaysia policy; and

  • Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP fully supports PAS proposal for a suit to be filed against the federal government for ceding away the oil-rich offshore Blocks L and M in South China Sea

DAP fully supports the PAS proposal for a suit to be filed against the Federal Government for ceding away the oil-rich offshore Blocks L and M in South China Sea to protect the rights of future generations of Sarawakians, Sabahans and Malaysians.

Kelantan state councillor Husam Musa yesterday proposed a legal suit against the federal government for ceding away the oil-rich maritime boundary areas to Brunei.

DAP endorses Husam’s demands and calls on the Prime Minister to issue a White Paper pertaining to all the following issues:

• Reveal to the public all communiques between Putrajaya, Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak and national oil company Petronas pursuant to the ceding of the boundary areas.

• Report all decisions made by the cabinet about the matter.

• Convene a royal commission of inquiry to investigate the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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