Monday, August 22, 2016

See calls for transparency on state’s negotiation with Petronas

KUCHING: Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has expressed his disappointment with Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas for not being open and transparent with Sarawakians.

See, who is state PKR vice chairman, was responding to Uggah’s statement on last Saturday describing the second round of meeting between the state government and Petronas as “fruitful”, and urged the public to remain calm and patient and that “Sarawakians could expect good news soon”.

“One of the reasons for the state government to impose the moratorium on work permits for Petronas staff who are non-Sarawakians was that Petronas was ‘not open and transparent with Sarawak on its operations in Sarawak’.

“Now the state government is guilty of what they are accusing others of, because they are not open and transparent with Sarawakians,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

This prompted See to query the state government: “Are we finally going to get a Sarawakian to be appointed the General Manager for Sarawak Operation, after 40 years of Petronas operation in the state?”

He pointed out that when the national petroleum company embarked on its plan to implement the policy of Malaysianisation, replacing the foreign consultants and expatriates who were holding senior executive and managerial positions with Malaysians in 1992, there were plans and programmes to groom and train Sarawakians to eventually head the Sarawak Operation.

“Unfortunately, after 25 years, capable Sarawakians who are qualified for the position of the General Manager for Sarawak Operation were being overlooked, until today.”

See reiterated that the state government must make use of the opportunity of this series of meetings to insist on widening the scope of discussion with Petronas, to cover the other aspects of Petronas operation in Sarawak.

“Not only is Petronas not being open and transparent in its employment policy and practice in Sarawak. What we should be concerned most is the signing and award of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) to explore, prospect and develop the fields onshore and offshore of Sarawak, at this time and with the state government being kept in the dark.

“Though the state government has made it clear that Petronas has no more rights to make unilateral decision on the exploitation and development of natural resources within Sarawak’s territorial boundary, the PSC for the exploration of Block SK410B was last month awarded to PTTEP HK Offshores of Thailand and KUFPEC Malaysia of Kuwait. While Petronas Carigali has a 15% stake in the joint venture, Sarawak has nothing.

“It is reliably learned that Petronas is now vigorously promoting nine to 12 other focus blocks located in Sarawak, to foreign entities, though they have no right to do so.”

See said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem must immediately make a strong representation to the federal government, and initiate meetings with Putrajaya on this matter.

“Petronas is wholly owned by the federal government. It is obvious that the federal administration wishes for the national petroleum company to continue its monopoly on the exploitation of these valuable resources in the country, disregarding the detriment and prejudice to Sarawak.”

~ Borneo Post

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