Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petronas’ RM600 billion profit: Where has it all gone?

From Sarawak Talk

So the figure has been revealed. Petronas’ group profit before taxes, royalties, dividends and export duties amounted to RM570 billion for the period from its establishment in 1974 to 31 March 2007.

If you include the figure for the period until 31 March 2008, then you are probably looking at a figure closer to RM700 billion, with the higher oil prices.

Let’s see the breakdown of that RM570 billion:

Payments to the government (royalties, export duties, taxes and dividends) - RM359 billion

Allocations for shareholders, royalties and taxes abroad - RM41 billion

Profits re-invested in Petronas operations - RM170 billion

Total RM570 billion

(In case you are wondering where I got these figures from, they are from an oral response in Parliament to a question put forward to the Prime Minister by the MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng.)

So the government has received RM359 billion from Petronas over the years. If we include the year ended 31 March 2008, the figure would be in the RM400 billion range.

The big question is, has the government made the best use of all that money? You and I know the answer to that. If the money had been used effectively, we could have provided affordable housing for everyone in this land, invested in an excellent public transport system and come up with a first class public health care system providing universal access to all Malaysians.

But have we? Look how much has been wasted and squandered over the years. Think of all the natural gas subsidies dished out by Petronas to the Independent Power Producers (private electricity companies), which have been raking in billions in profits over the years. (And now they want to reduce the subsidies for ordinary Malaysians.) Think of the billions spent on bailing out banks. And remember the colossal sums spent on building Putrajaya, building the Twin Towers, hosting the Malaysian Grand Prix, sponsoring the Petronas racing teams and setting up the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. All this while there are people without homes of their own, without a balanced and nutritious diet, without electricity and water in rural schools…

It is truly a lost opportunity, considering that we will soon become a net importer of oil in a few years’ time.

Meanwhile, ordinary Malaysians have no access to Petronas’ detailed accounts. Where is the accountability and transparency in the use of these massive amounts of public funds?

Sarawak Headhunter's comments: RM0-00 accountability, RM+++ billions public subsidies for wastage, mismanagement, misgovernance, inefficiency, corruption, siphoning off and squandering.

Malaysia is a net exporter of oil. What petrol subsidies are they talking about? How long more do they want to continue cheating the rakyat? How long more does Sarawak have to tolerate and subsidise Malayan (BN) & Taib & cronies' wastage, mismanagement, misgovernance, inefficiency, corruption, siphoning off and squandering?


Anonymous said...

Malaysia's government will not revise this week's drastic fuel price hikes despite opposition protests, a Cabinet minister said Friday, but he assured consumers that prices won't be raised again anytime soon.

Domestic Trade Minister Shahrir Samad defended the government's move to end decades of heavy subsidies that have kept fuel prices among the lowest in Southeast Asia and strained government coffers.

"I don't personally think it has been a mistake to raise fuel prices by a substantial amount," Shahrir told reporters. "I think it's wise. It's the first time ever we can come to grip with the subsidy system."

The pump price of gasoline rose Thursday by a whopping 41 percent to 2.70 ringgit (87 cents) a liter, or 10.23 ringgit ($3.30) a gallon. Diesel prices shot up 63 percent to 2.58 ringgit (80 cents) per liter.

Like other Asian countries, Malaysia had faced a spiraling fuel subsidy bill that could have been more than 56 billion ringgit ($17 billion) this year due to rising world oil prices.

Although the government wants to ensure pump prices are close to market rates, it isn't likely to review prices again in the short run, Shahrir said.

"Unless the global oil price rise is so apparent, I don't think (domestic fuel prices) will go up. It's more likely that the government will absorb (any further increases)," he said. "It will remain at 2.70 ringgit for a while."

In addition to the fuel hike, Malaysia also increased electricity tariffs starting in July by as much as 26 percent for some consumers.

The opposition Democratic Action Party staged small protests Thursday to denounce the sudden price hikes as excessive and a burden for the poor.

PROTES, an anti-inflation coalition of opposition parties and non-governmental groups, has called for rallies nationwide that will peak in a mass demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on July 12 to force the government to back down from the plan.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged the people to remain calm and not take to the streets.

Analysts have said that Abdullah, who has resisted calls to step down, may face renewed pressure to quit as the price hike will hit his main supporters -- low-income rural ethnic Malays -- the hardest.

His National Front coalition, which has governed since independence in 1957, suffered its worst setback after losing a third of Parliament seats and five of 13 states to the opposition in March polls.

Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Friday the government has approved 800 million ringgit ($250 million) in soft loans to help small and medium-sized industries cope with the energy price hikes.

Interest rates on the loans will be halved to 2 percent and disbursement will be accelerated, he said.

More measures will be drawn up if necessary to support the sector, which forms the bulk of businesses and employs more than half of Malaysia's work force of 12 million, he added.

The government also promised cash rebates for owners of vehicles with engine capacities of 2 liters or less, and diesel subsidies for truck and bus operators.

Despite the increase, Malaysia's gasoline prices remain lower than other Asian nations such as Singapore, Thailand and India.

The energy price hikes are expected to push inflation to a 10-year high of around 5 percent, up from 3 percent now, and slow consumer spending and hurt Malaysia's economic growth.

Abdullah has said the revised energy prices would save the government 13.7 billion ringgit ($4.4 billion), part of which will be used to help subsidize rising food prices.

Anonymous said...

Needless to say, all have gone into the pockets of BN ministers and cronies.It is a complete let down, no difference from robbers. Instead of entrusted to manage the public funds, they turned into plunderers ....worse than the devils. There is no more cure, vote them out and throw them into oblivion before they squeeze the last drop of our blood. They have turned into our biggest enemies.