Article ‘Kenapa BN Mahu Sangat Rampas Kelantan’ – Take 1

March 20, 2008

I thought I’d comment on the blog entry at I’m more interested in the oil and gas perspective, and providing some background information.
First, I’d like to mention who owns Malaysia’s hydrocarbon (that is, oil and gas) reserves. Quoting from an article I co-authored for the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia,

"As an outcome of the petroleum crisis of 1973, which was a result of an OPEC oil export embargo by many of the major Arab oil-producing states in response to western support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, Malaysia realised the importance and the impact that oil had on the local economy. The Petroleum Development Act (PDA) was enacted in 1974, leading to the incorporation of PETRONAS (Petroliam National Berhad) on 17 August of the same year under the Companies Act 1965. It is wholly-owned by the Malaysian government and is vested with the entire ownership and control of the petroleum resources in Malaysia. In essence, any company who wishes to take part in the exploitation of Malaysia's hydrocarbon resources act as a contractor to PETRONAS."

So, PETRONAS is the owner of all of Malaysia’s hydrocarbons, and this will not change until the PDA is amended or repelled in Parliment. Oil ownership is therefore not a drive to take over Kelantan.