KUCHING: National oil and gas company, Petronas, which was once transparent and receptive to Sabah and Sarawakian employees underwent somekind of a change in the 1990s, so much so that it reclused itself from Borneo, said opposition PKR.
Party vice-chairman See Chee How said that in the past Petronas had been transparent about the number of Sarawakian workers it employed.
“But this openess diminished. There has been no disclosures in the last decade.
“Petronas was once conscientious and open with its employment of Sarawakians in the corporation’s operations in the state.
“Back in the 90s it was constantly revealing figures of non-executives, managerial and technical and non-technical staff members in Sarawak,” he said.
But some reason, policies changed.
See said there were now many West Malaysians who were employed here by Petronas, under the guise of being trainees, including security officers.
“The state government should demand that priority of employment be given to Sarawakians at all levels in the rank-and-file of the corporation and its contractors,” said See in a statement here.
He was responding to Senior Minister James Masing’s call to Petronas to hire qualified Sarawakians and engage the local business community.
Masing’s call received wide support from Sarawakians and Sabahans.
See yesterday suggested that the state government assert itself and demand that Sarawakians directly benefit from the development of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak.
He said the state government should enforce the state’s participation and share in the joint ventures in engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contracts.
“As it is now, the major joint ventures are awarded to foreign and West Malaysian companies,” he said citing the newest gas fields Tukau Timur and Kuang North.
He said these were “sizeable gas discoveries but surprisingly the state has not demanded any stake in the joint ventures.”
Give back to Sarawakians
Meanwhile the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association has also backed calls for Petronas to engage the local business community and employ local graduates.
In a statement here, SDGS president Dr Dusit Jaul said: “Giving back to Sarawakians, by way of more employment and award of contracts to deserving Sarawakian owned companies should be a natural act on the part of Petronas.
“And if there is truth in this matter of sidelining Sarawakians in employment, and also business opportunities, SDGA consider this kind of move unfair and Petronas should know very well the implications of such a move,” he said.
Last Saturday at a Parti Rakyat Sarawak function, Masing had pointed out the “dominance by the federal boys in employment, especially in management and business spinoffs” in Petronas operations in Sarawak.
He had also urged Petronas to employ more local sub-contractors as this would help the local industry to benefit from its operations in Sarawak.
“Petronas has been operating here for quite a long time now. Before it employed many of our people but now since the new management has taken over its operations, our people have been sidelined,” he reportedly said.
~ Free Malaysia Today