Sunday, February 26, 2012

Petronas should repay PTPN study loans by Sabahans, demands new NGO

KOTA KINABALU: A new citizen movement that has demanded that oil royalty for Sabah should be at least 70 percent, Oil for Future Movement (OFF), now wants state-owned Petronas to repay all study loans from PTPN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) by Sabahan students.

OFF chairman, Phillip Among, said thousands from Sabah who had loaned study aids from the government-controlled PTPN have become victims instead of the scheme when they could not find jobs for courses taken under the PTPN loan.

"We have yet to determine how many exactly Sabahan students fell victims but in every districts that i went, there were parents and students who complained to us. Some of the PTPN loanees have been barred from leaving Malaysia because of their defaulted loan repayment.
"But how could these students repay when they are jobless? They can't even leave to try their luck for employment in other countries. Petronas which had been making huge profits from Sabah oil and gas must repay all these loans from PTPN," Among demanded.

Businessman Among claimed that the amount of defaulted PTPN study loans involving Sabah students is "not much" as compared to the profits Petronas had made out of Sabah oil an gas over a long years.

"PTPN study loan taken by Sabahans could be less than 10% of the reportedly total amount defaulted to the tune of RM40 billion, much of it must have been taken by students from the rest 11 states in Peninsular," said Among.

He said it is only logical for Petronas to help in now if the Federal Government wants to put a real meaning in its slogan "People First, Performance Now".

A few days ago, OFF has also demanded that oil royalty for Sabah must be backdated to 1976 and a statutory eight percent interest per annum should be paid.

Among then said that Sabah political parties, should insist on 70 percent oil royalty for the state and not just 25% or 30% as some of them have been demanding.

"This one-sided oil agreement evidently signed under extreme duress in 1976 between the federal government/Petronas and the Sabah and Sarawak state governments has come under increasing public scrutiny, and we have lost huge opportunities not only on oil royalty but other related businesses and hence we are the poorest today in Malaysia. We must be compensated," Among had said.

uld organise forums and seminars on it involving the youngsters including university students who are interested to fight for their generation and the next.

Among also called on the PR to elaborate on its royalty structure pledged to Sabah and Sarawak as so far it did not clarify whether the 20 percent pledge covers the outer waters.

He had also hinted that if OFF's demands are not heard, he would lead an initiative to bring the issue of oil and gas resources of Sabah and Sarawak before the United Nation Security Council via here a global energy security protocol, for a determination by the international community.

"The Malaysian Government is not transparent on oil money derived from any waters in Malaysia including from Sabah and Sarawak, and we do not know where these money are being spent onto whereas we remain the poorest in Malaysia now. We need to know and we need to demand after all it is our rights to do so," he had said.

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