Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, the acting chairman and president of Petronas is absolutely correct when he commented that Malaysia under the rule of the Barisan Nasional government has become too dependent on money from the oil and gas sector as its contribution accounted for over 50% of the Government’s revenue. But of course most people know this except for the government officials at Putra Jaya.
Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican said it was very dangerous for the country to depend so heavily on “finite resources like gas and oil” and it would seem like the country had not progressed. Again, so true.
The current government indeed like to spend lavishly without considering that funding will slowly become limited and does not think deep into the future. Unlike a tiny republic state of Singapore, Malaysia have abundant natural resources as well as manpower. However, due to lack of planing or improper planning, only certain groups benefits from the exploitation of those natural resources.
Singapore being a small republic is much more develop than Malaysia. Her economy also outperformed Malaysia. Singapore is always a few step ahead of Malaysia because they have one advantage, i.e. smart and non-corrupt officials in their think tank committee that do advance planning, forecasting and come out with good policies.
When the oil run dry and when Petronas can no longer give money to the government, Malaysia will be like a poor state in Africa.
* Response from PETRONAS
KUALA LUMPUR: The country has become too dependent on money from the oil and gas sector as its contribution accounted for over 50% of the Government’s revenue, said Petronas acting chairman and president Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican.
He said it was very dangerous for the country to depend so heavily on “finite resources like gas and oil” and it would seem like the country had not progressed.
“It is just like when we gained independence, when we were dependent on rubber and tin. At least then, rubber was an infinite resource because it could be cultivated but petroleum is just like tin as it can run out,” he said.
“What has happened to the manufacturing sector? What has been its economic contribution to the nation? There are real structural issues,” Hassan told reporters after releasing details of Petronas' performance for the financial year ending March 2008.
He said the country received billions of ringgit worth of foreign investments to set up factories here but yet their national contribution could not be seen.
Foreign workers staff many of the overseas factories set up here, the Petronas boss said.
He questioned whether the country could “survive in the long term” under such conditions.
Hassan pointed out that the national oil corporation paid the Government RM67.6bil, which made up 44% of the federal revenue.
“If you take into account taxes paid by the other oil and gas companies in the country, then the total sectorial contribution is over 50%,” he said.
“This dependency on oil money has become an addiction and something the Government must address.”
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008