Government-linked Malay dailies such Berita Harian and Utusan will be making extra money tomorrow.

The federal government will take up a full-page advertisement tomorrow in the mainstream Malay language newspapers to explain to the people nationwide the facts about the Kelantan oil royalty issue, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

“Tomorrow (on Sunday), the people of Malaysia will understand this issue clearly when the newspapers carry the advertisement, and I believe the facts will convince everyone,” he said after a talk on the oil royalty issue here on Friday’s night.

The talk, organised by the Kelantan Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, was attended by more than 5,000 people. Also present were Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin and Pasir Mas Member of Parliament Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

Mustapa, who is the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairman, said a series of talks at several venues in the state organised by several NGOs had enabled the Kelantan people to better understand the issue.

He said the explanatory talks would continue until the people, even those living in the interior, understood that what the Kelantan PAS government was demanding was contrary to the law.

Mustapa maintained that the Kelantan government was only entitled to compassionate payments and not oil royalty because the state’s right to oil and gas offshore was up to three nautical miles from the coast. Gas is extracted in a joint development area managed by Malaysia and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim said he was waiting for the Kelantan government to take the oil royalty issue to court.

He had said that he would give the state government one month from Jan 26 to do so or he would take it to court himself.

Ibrahim had said he wanted to show that the state government was afraid to refer the matter to the courts because it would then be unable to debate the matter in public during the next general election as it would be sub judice to do so.

The state government wanted to use the issue as political capital during the next general election, he had said. — BERNAMA