Wednesday, January 29, 2014

History and constitutional guarantee allow Christians to use ‘Allah’, say law experts

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
JANUARY 29, 2014
Two Malaysian academics have come out in support of Christians in the country on their right to use the word "Allah" in their religious practices amid Putrajaya's admission that states can regulate such activities.
Universiti Malaya law professor Dr Azmi Shahrom (pic) and former International Islamic University law lecturer Dr Abdul Aziz Bari went on record to support such rights when they affirmed affidavits in support of a judicial review application by a Sarawakian Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, against the home minister.
Both documents sighted by The Malaysian Insider said the use of the word “Allah” was an aspect of the Christian faith which was guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
On May 11, 2008, the ministry seized eight Christian CDs from Jill Ireland at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, prompting the Melanau Christian to challenge the seizure in court.
They said Christians, or for that matter, other non-Muslims, were permitted to use the word in their worship as long they did not use the Arabic term to propagate their religion to Muslims.
The CDs, which Jill Ireland had bought in after a trip to Indonesia for personal use, bore titles such as "Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah", " Hidup Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah" and "Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah".
In August 2008, Jill Ireland filed a judicial review of the ministry's action and a return of the CDs.
She has also asked for a declaration, saying that she has a legitimate expectation to exercise the right to use "Allah" and to continue to own and import such materials.
On May 4, 2009, the High Court granted Jill Ireland leave for judicial review and the case has been fixed before a judge on February 5.
In his affidavit, Azmi said Christians nationwide were not a threat to public order if they continued to use “Allah” in their religious activities.
He said it was a minority of Muslims who threatened public order, such as making wild allegations, demonstrating and attacking Christian places of worship for using the word “Allah”.
"So it is not the Christians who are a threat to national security," he added.
Azmi said it did not matter even if the majority in Malaysia were uncomfortable or protested against the use of the word “Allah” by Christians as it was their constitutional right.
"If this right is eroded or even eradicated, then this country is administered by the tyranny of the majority."
Abdul Aziz said that Article 11 on religious freedom was sacred and could be violated and Putrajaya could not take that right from any group even in exceptional circumstances.
He said no laws passed by Parliament and executive actions could suspend that right, even when the government wants to combat subversion as allowed under Article 149 of the Constitution.
"Only four basic fundamental rights under the Constitution (personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, assembly and association and property) can be violated during the period to fight subversion.
"This shows that Article 11 is sacrosanct and inviolable," he said in his affidavit affirmed early this month.
Abdul Aziz also lent support to the affidavit of Jok Wan who affirmed that “Allah” was used by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak even before both states agreed to form Malaysia in 1963.
He said Abdullah Munshi, the father of modern Malay literature, who translated the Bible into Malay in 1852 had referred to God as "Allah".
"Even Dr Tariq Aslan (a professor in Islamic Studies from Iowa, the United States) had stated that Christians in the Arabian peninsula had used ‘Allah’ before the time of Prophet Muhammad."
He said the former Perlis mufti and associate professor from Universiti Sains Malaysia Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin had also stated that non-Muslims were encouraged to use the word in their religious practice. – January 29, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

Consumer confidence hits 5-year low



STORY BY
quanmin@kinibiz.com
MIERMalaysian consumers are holding back purchases as rising inflation puts a strain on household finances, results of a survey of 1,022 households in Peninsular Malaysia by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) today revealed.
MIER’s Consumer Sentiment Index stood at just 82.4 points in the fourth-quarter last year or 4Q13, well below the 100-point demarcation line for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis almost five years ago.
From a peak of 122.9 points in the first-quarter last year or 1Q13, the Consumer Sentiment Index has been steadily falling each quarter to end 2013 on a low note.
consumer sentiments index 08 13 280114Household incomes have been adversely affected by climbing inflation, the survey results found. In December 2013, growth in the consumer price index (CPI) accelerated to 3.2% year-on-year (y-o-y), Bank Negara reported. The average inflation rate for 2013 was 2.1% (y-o-y)
In their quarterly report today, MIER wrote: “Pay gains are not boosting household balance sheets as creeping inflation caused by the recent series of price hikes are crimping household finances and their purchasing power.”
Some 40% of households surveyed said their financial position deteriorated in 4Q13, while 44% of households said their financial position was unchanged. Only 15% of households reported an improvement in their finances during the quarter.
Consumers fear the worst
Zakariah Abdul Rashid MIER
Zakariah Abdul Rashid
Consumers are increasingly pessimistic and are apprehensive of further inflationary pressure on prices, MIER executive director Zakariah Abdul Rashid said.
A vast majority or 92% of households expect higher prices soon, the highest percentage recorded since the inception of the survey. Among the consumers that are the most worried are low-income urban households in the central region.
Consumer expectations, from the survey results, showed little confidence in the “slow labour market.” Throughout 2013, MIER’s Employment Index showed a general decline, in line with the slump in the Consumer Sentiments Index.
On spending, consumers agreed that “now was not a good time to buy or invest in major consumer durables.” Survey results revealed only 27% of consumers thought 4Q13 was a good time to buy such items.
In their concluding statement on consumer sentiment, MIER said: “Consumer spending is therefore expected to remain modest, if not slower, in the coming months.”
Survey at a glance 280114MIER’s Business Conditions Index also took a beating, extending its declining trend to end at 92 points in 4Q13, down 6.6 points from the previous quarter.
The decline in the Business Conditions Index, along with poorer readings in five out of eight components that make up the index indicate a contraction in manufacturing activities in the fourth-quarter last year, MIER concluded.
Inflation the cause
Speaking in a press conference today to launch MIER’s 4Q13 economic reports, Zakariah confirmed the “Consumer Sentiments Index was influenced by inflationary trends.”
He said consumers were no doubt “feeling the pinch” from the “persistent increase in the general price level,” as indicated by the rising inflation rate.
On whether Bank Negara will seek to tighten monetary policy tomorrow during the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the year, Zakariah said he expects Bank Negara to leave current interest rates unchanged for the first half of the year.
Eventually some tightening of monetary policy would be required to address inflation, Zakariah added. But any action must also take into account the effect higher interest rates have on the debt burden of households.
~ KiniBiz

Surprise Kajang polls 'necessary'

11:51AM Jan 29, 2014
COMMENT I am aware that a lot of explanation has to be made on PKR’s decision to vacate the Kajang state seat to force a by-election.

I am also acutely aware of Ambiga Sreenevasan’s advice, communicated personally to me, that we have to be as honest as possible with the people.

So let me begin by offering the sincerest apology to the public, especially the voters in Kajang. The by-election will certainly consume public money and public space at a time when the people have to go through economic hardship.

There is no excuse for wasting public money except to offer my sincerest apology, and for the party to be prepared if the voters of Kajang decide to punish us.

In all honesty, as the strongest proponent of the scheme I bear most responsibility for the decision.

Dynamics in Umno

Precisely because we are honest with ourselves and the people, we have to acknowledge that we are facing problems and challenges in Selangor that require intervention.

While Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s administration has shown a sterling performance over the last six years that has endeared him to the public, there is room for improvement in many areas, especially given the latest dynamics in Umno.

It is an open secret that the move to remove Najib Abdul Razak (right) has begun.

As a party strategist, I cannot rule out the possibility that, should Najib be removed, Umno would fall to the ultras led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s faction.

The unscrupulous attacks and schemes to take Selangor by hook or by crook will begin the moment the weak Najib is removed. Even as we speak, Umno’s cards are all too obvious, as seen in the racial and religious controversies stirred up in Selangor over the last few months.

Should Najib fall, expect a full-blown manipulation of racial and religious issues to create mistrust and frustration with the Selangor government.

Launchpad for Putrajaya

While Khalid’s administration has set a gold standard in integrity and prudence in managing public funds, we also have to admit there are also other areas that we can improve.

We need a radical approach to resolving traffic woes, and the pace of affordable public housing has to pick up. There is a need for more rigorous forward planning of water resources and some hard decisions have to be made soon.

We have to vigorously protect the rights of the minorities who are the targets of Umno’s political game.

As a MP, I certainly believe we can do better especially with regard to cleanliness and the livelihood of the people. We have the potential to become a model state with the least number of potholes in densely-populated areas.

In other words, Selangor has to be doubly better than what it is today if it is to become Pakatan’s showcase in its quest for Putrajaya.

Just as Istanbul was a launchpad for Erdogan and Jakarta is a launchpad for Jokowi, Selangor can be a great launchpad for Pakatan to take over Putrajaya.

Fortification of Pakatan

The job is not done and we are about to face another onslaught from Umno.

Therefore, while it is certainly inexcusable to spend public funds unnecessarily in a by-election, it would be an even bigger dereliction of public duty if we do not do anything, knowing that this round is going to be tougher.

What PKR and Selangor Pakatan Rakyat need is fortification so that we can expedite reforms and simultaneously fend off political attacks and manouevring by Umno.

We need as many of our top leaders around Selangor as possible to defend the state because it remains the crown jewel of any political coalition in the country.

Hence the decision to field Anwar Ibrahim for a state seat as this provides an option that we can readily exercise, should the need arise.

Does this mean there will be a change of stewardship of the Selangor government? Maybe yes, maybe no. But we do have the option to optimise our leadership potential if Umno stirs up more trouble.

Option is key. Having the option means having the flexibility of manouevres that can easily frustrate Umno’s game in Selangor especially with regard to racial and religious controversies.

Avoid the Kedah experience

At the end of the day, I know no amount of explanation can soothe public anger. I only appeal for time to let the rationale sink in and space for us to do what is necessary.

I also have to apologise on behalf of my party for the differences we have among ourselves that are seen as factional and often frustrate the public.

Yet we trying our best to resolve it now for the sake of Malaysians, because not doing it now will certainly condemn us to the same experience of Pakatan in Kedah.

We learnt the lesson bitterly that differences must be managed early because the party always has to be whole to face Umno.

Game-changing move

Good political leaders will never be popular.

It pains me that we have to drag Anwar through this and subject him to public anger, yet his willingness to be a part of the bigger picture is the mark of the man.

Throughout the last few days, I’ve reassured myself that it was Churchill who chose to be unpopular and remained a minority voice of alarm against the advancing Nazis till the end despite a public popularity to appease the Nazis. An the height of Nazi power, Churchill stood alone when every one else in Europe bowed to Hitler.

The conviction of doing the right thing, in the face of extreme criticism and public anger, remains a yardstick of what honest leadership is.

I thank the top leadership of Pakatan which understands the necessity of doing this. I thank my comrades in the second leadership line-up of Pakatan who have given us the moral and political support to proceed.

I hope that one day when we are in Putrajaya, we can look back to the difficult days of what will be called the ‘Kajang Move’ as the game-changer in our quest for Putrajaya. I honestly hope that it will be a defining moment that allows us to move one step closer to Putrajaya.

I maybe naïve and ridiculed for my naivette, but that’s as honest as I can be.

Let’s look ahead for a stronger Pakatan in Selangor - one that is posed to take over Putrajaya in the next election and which won’t look back.



RAFIZI RAMLI is the PKR director of strategy.

~ Malaysiakini

Malays have too much power — Zaid Ibrahim



NOVEMBER 29, 2013


NOV 29 — It’s a common saying from the elderly and the wise: too much of anything is harmful. Now, I think the Malays have too much power and it’s gone to their heads. 
At the last general election, Utusan Malaysia and Umno actively lambasted the Chinese by casting doubt on their loyalty to the country and asking them to go and live elsewhere.  
When the Chinese, hurt by these accusations, understandably rejected the Barisan Nasional at the polls, Utusan had the temerity to ask, “what more do the [ungrateful] Chinese want?” 
Only people who have too much power will conduct themselves in the way Umno and Utusan have. To them, the idea of being sensible and reasonable is unreasonable and weak.
Of course, organisations like Perkasa will tell you that the Malays are losing political power and “enemies” are circling in for the kill. This narrative is attractive to some people, especially retirees like Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman who once headed the Election Commission. 
Rashid said he’d signed up with Datuk Ibrahim Ali (they are both from the famous state of Kelantan) to make sure that Malays don’t lose power. I cried with laughter when I read this. 
Surely the dear Tan Sri knows only too well that the problem with the Malays and their leaders is not that they are losing power, but that they have so much of it that they can no longer appreciate it. 
Powerful Malays today do as they like without care for consequence. They don’t think about national policies nor do they try to persuade and engage others. They simply impose their will and threaten those who disagree with them.
Right now, PAS and Umno are apparently forging a closer relationship and, to top it all off, the Malay Rulers are more vocal and assertive than they have ever been. Listening to all of them, you’d think that Malays and Islam are under serious daily attack and everyone must get together to defend the race and religion or perish. 
The problem is that we know the fears are just imaginary. This is why, besides the rhetoric, none of these “champions” has ever bothered to spell out the accusations or to give hard evidence of what terrible things the Chinese/Christians/Jews/Liberals and so forth are actually doing. 
Not only do these self-created fears exist entirely in the heads of leaders in Umno, Utusan and Perkasa, Malay power is actually reaching its zenith under the present Prime Minister. We will have to wait and see what this new power will do to Malays in general. 
We can already see some of its effects: Malaysia is the only Muslim country in the world who can claim proprietorship to God’s name . This can only happen when the Muslims have too much power for their own good. Even for weekend rest days  we keep changing them; because no one can questioned us.
In such an important portfolio as education, we have two Ministers, two Secretaries-General and two Directors-General and over 50 separate departments. Only a group with too much power will organise things this way—and it is this same group that sends its children to private international schools or public schools in England but asks the rest of their people to learn Arabic and Bahasa Melayu. 
Now, coming back to the historic meeting between two of the largest Malay-Muslim political organisations in the country: PAS and Umno. What do you think they will talk about? 
I don’t think it’ll be how to improve education for the people or about enhancing skills and improving English for the global economy. In fact, I don’t think the economy will feature at all. There will be no talk about increasing development funds for Kelantan  ‘ or returning the oil royalty to the state coffers ;or helping them solve the  water problem.I don’t think they’ll even talk about improving state religious education. 
No. 
They just want to talk about hudud (which neither party will implement), Islam (which the Holy Quran has declared to be perfect and protected by Allah—therefore nothing needs to be done, right?), and the threat of liberals, NGOs and alliances like Comango. That’s what too much power does to you.
Moving on to better things, I was fortunate yesterday to have been a guest of Bank Negara Indonesia at a Forum in which the various political parties assembled to talk about important issues for the Indonesian general election in 2014. 
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made an excellent presentation. He urged Indonesians to think about economic issues and urged both all political leaders to work together to bolster the country’s performance.  
He spoke about enhancing capacity building and overcoming administrative gridlocks. He warned about decreasing imports from large economies and the tightening of money flows from the United States, which has helped Indonesia over the past four years. 
He spoke about the need for infrastructure enhancement, especially in the provinces, and challenged presidential aspirants (from his own party and the opposition) to put forward good policies.
Not once did he speak of “enemy forces” working against Indonesians, Islam or the Pancasila. Not once did he rely on false paranoia to gain cheap political capital. Instead, he urged his people to unite to make Indonesia a world economic power. 
That is my kind of leader: honest and inspiring. My kind of leader knows that power is limited so he must govern with care because his days are numbered from the moment he takes office. 
He or she believes that political power may be used only to discharge the sacred duty to the people while maintaining the principles of democratic government. 
It’s a tough job to govern responsibly. Umno and other Malay leaders have yet to learn this.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/malays-have-too-much-power-zaid-ibrahim#sthash.q3rk0hg7.dpuf

BARU BIAN: NAJIB’S BETRAYAL


28 JANUARY 2014
PRESS STATEMENT

Finally the Prime Minister saw fit to speak about the ‘Allah’ issue but what he said brought no assurances to the Christians who had been hoping against hope that he would, for once, behave as the prime minister for all Malaysians instead of his usual pandering to a small group of ultra Islamists. Our disappointment is beyond measure. The bottom line is that the 10-point agreement is worth nothing as it is subject to existing state and federal laws. What is left for Christians in Peninsula Malaysia, where the states have passed enactments to stop non-Muslims from using ‘Allah’ and other Arabic words?

The Prime Minister’s statement last week confirms beyond a shadow of doubt that he is a man whose words cannot be believed. It is clear that the 10-point solution was merely a political ploy to pacify Sabahans and Sarawakians before the Sarawak state elections in 2011. We have been well and truly conned. This solution was drawn up and offered by the government without restriction in 2011. Why is the PM narrowing its ambit now? This man, who has no moral fibre and even less integrity, should resign as the prime minister if he cannot be the leader of all Malaysians. How far is he going to allow himself to be pushed around and used by the likes of Perkasa? Even after he gave them what they wanted, they are not satisfied and are braying for more.

The patron of Perkasa, former PM Mahathir Mohamad has also been showing the world his true colours since his retirement with many irrational and racist statements, the latest one being that the word ‘Allah’ was used by certain parties to convert Muslims into Christianity. There has never been any proof to support this accusation and the former PM invites ridicule in making such baseless claims. That a former PM should make unfounded and irresponsible accusations such as this only serves to invite speculations about the state of his aging mind.

However, I have to concur with him when he said that Muslims never had problems with Christians in this country for a long time but I differ with his answer as to why the issue was being raised now if not for an ulterior motive. Why, he has the audacity to ask. My question to him is - who was it that first created the problem if not the Home Ministry in issuing the ban on the Herald? Mahathir was right – we lived in harmony and there was no friction between Muslims and Christians. None until the tsunami of the 2008 election, when UNMO realized it needed to salvage the support of the Malays. Before that, no Muslim claimed to have been confused by the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians, a word that had been in their vocabulary for centuries. After 2008, the UMNOputras decided that the Muslims should be confused and started fomenting fear and mistrust between them and non-Muslims. Where no fear existed previously, the UMNOputeras planted the seeds of fear. That was when the problems started.

The MP for Pulai, Nur Jazlan Mohamad made an astute observation that the problems arose when UMNO shifted from its centrist position towards the right in an effort to be more Islamic than PAS and continues to play the race and religion card to win the Malay Muslim votes. As pointed out by the MP, UMNO is not going to win the Malays over by playing these cards.  The people need a PM and a government who will address the real issues faced by the people, such as the soaring prices of goods. The people are tired of the manufactured issues used by the UMNOputras to instill fear and divert attention from the real issues facing the nation.

We must constantly remind ourselves that the majority of Muslims are rational and secure in their beliefs, and that they do not allow themselves to fall into the clutches of the UMNOputera  supremacists. Among these enlightened Muslims is Marina Mahathir, who understands the concept of freedom of religion in a multi religious society. This shining apple has certainly fallen far from the tree, and I am thankful that there are Muslims like her who are not afraid to stand up for the truth, and support the right of all Malaysians to freedom of religion.

Many lawyers and scholars have pointed out that the states have the authority under Art 11(4) of the Federal Constitution to enact legislation to regulate the preaching of religion to Muslims, but that they have no jurisdiction over non-Muslims. The state laws which purport to ban the usage of Arabic words without any reference to attempts at proselytization are arguably unconstitutional and open to challenge. It is inconceivable that state laws should take precedence over the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of non-Muslims to practice other religions. We are heading towards being controlled by a regressive and oppressive Islamist regime. Make no mistake about it – our foreign investors are having doubts about the wisdom of their decision to invest here. Should they pull out, we will be well on the way to being a bankrupt nation, if we are not there already.

Where does Najib’s stand on the 10-point solution leave the thousands of Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians working in Peninsula Malaysia who are now supposedly banned from using ‘Allah’ in the states which have enacted such bans? Bahasa Malaysia is the main language spoken by them and is the language used in their worship. How are they to pray now? This bewildering treatment is not what our forefathers signed up for when they agreed to the formation of the federation.

Christians in Peninsula Malaysia are under severe attack in their position as pawns in the UMNOputera’s quest for supremacy. As pointed out by Clive Kessler, the proclamation by the Sultan of Kedah that the word ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims is a significant one, the sultan being the most senior of the sultans and sitting as Agong for the second time. The words of this particular sultan have great impact and Islamist groups such as Perkasa may agitate for this stance to be taken by the sultans collectively in the Council of Rulers. If this happens, I agree with Clive Kessler that it would signify the end of Democratic Constitutionalism in Malaysia. What would this nation become then?

As a direct result of the PM’s weakness and lack of direction, his double standards and his inaction, extremist groups have been emboldened to take provocative and violent action in their attempts to cause conflicts between Christians and Muslims. This is evident in the throwing of Molotov cocktails into a church compound in Penang on Sunday. We are waiting to see what other tricks these UMNOputeras will pull out of their bag next. Maybe the pig’s head in the mosque stunt? The past attempts at provocation have not worked, but nothing will stop the mob from trying again unless the PM digs deep within himself for some fortitude to prove his mettle as a leader. For that, we hold little hope but offer fervent and constant prayer.

Malaysians must stand firm in demanding for the protection of our constitutional guarantees. We must work together to ensure that we will never become a country that allows extreme political Islam to divide us, borrowing the words of Perpaduan Anak Negeri (PAN) in Sabah. True Islam is a religion of peace and love. Christians and Muslims in Malaysia can live in peace in harmony again if left alone to practice their faiths without interference by desperate politicians and dangerous extremists. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has made the call for a national consensus to address affecting religious and racial harmony. The PM and BN would do well to show their willingness to address these issues by accepting the offer of a dialogue.

I urge that the Malaysians silent majority work together to ensure that our beloved country be preserved and remain truly democratic in line with our forefathers’ dream and that the Federal Constitution remains the supreme law of this land.

BARU BIAN
ADUN N70 Ba’Kelalan/ Chairman, PKR Sarawak 

BARU BIAN: PAKATAN RAKYAT COUNCIL


28 JANUARY 2014
PRESS STATEMENT

During the past few days, there have been personal statements issued and speculations made about the happenings within the Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat coalition and some of its members. 

The State Pakatan Rakyat Leaders Council will be formed after the Chinese New Year, after which meetings will be held to discuss, inter alia, inter-party issues as well as seat allocations. In the meantime, I urge our Keadilan party members to refrain from issuing personal statements concerning the PR coalition to the press, which may not be reflective of the understanding within the state PR coalition, and which may subsequently be misconstrued or misunderstood.

I wish to stress that PKR is committed to working with DAP and PAS to achieve our common goal of winning the next state elections and to improving the lives of Sarawakians through good governance. We will strategise accordingly and direct our energies and our focus on this goal. We urge Sarawakians to stand behind us in the Pakatan Rakyat. We will be the change Sarawakians need.

BARU BIAN
ADUN N70 BA’ KELALAN/
CHAIRMAN, PKR SARAWAK

Once ‘open’ Petronas now ‘closed’ to Borneo


FMT Staff

January 28, 2014
Sarawak PKR said many West Malaysians were hired and brought into Sarawak under the guise of trainees and security staff.
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