SEMPORNA, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal hopes no quarters would attempt to politicise the government setting up a special committee to study the issue of payment from petroleum revenue to states in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Shafie, who is also Umno vice-president, said the committee could be the channel to enable appropriate payment to the states which contributed to the nation in petroleum production.
"Therefore, the committee proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should be well received. So, do not politicise the matter.
"The important thing is that the revenue obtained is channelled in the interest of the people and national development," he said.
Shafie was speaking to reporters after a special meeting with Umno division chiefs and imams from Semporna here today, when commenting on Najib's announcement over the setting up of the committee.
According to Najib, the special committee would be chaired by former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad and comprise local and foreign legal experts, as well as representatives from the Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu state governments.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the special committee on petroleum royalty payment showed the transparency of the federal government to distribute revenue fairly for the people's well-being.
He said, with the establishment of the special committee, petroleum revenue would be studied from all aspects objectively.
"This shows Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the federal government have nothing to hide and it should be discussed rationally," he told reporters in Butterworth, Penang today.
The special committee will carry out a study to identify the states eligible to receive cash payments from petroleum revenue on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Earlier, Nor Mohamed, who is Tasek Gelugor member of parliament, handed over Hari Raya contributions to 100 senior citizens and needy families, in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, which were sponsored by SME Bank.