Following a moratorium in Sarawak on new work permits for Peninsular Malaysia Petronas employees, the national oil company said having qualified employees is crucial for its success, regardless of where they come from.
However, Petronas said, as its manpower requirements in Sarawak are expected to grow, most of its new employees will be from the state.
“Sarawak remains a key investment state for Petronas, where its workforce requirement will continue to grow. Petronas expects the majority of the workforce required to meet the new manpower demand will constitute Sarawakians, as per existing recruitment practices.
“A number of positions are expected to be filled by experienced employees, which may include non-Sarawakians.
“Key to the successful delivery and operations of Petronas’ projects in the state is the support and commitment from all relevant parties, most important of whom are Petronas’ teams of qualified, trained and dedicated employees – no matter where they are from,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The statement came after the Sarawak government announced a moratorium on all new applications for work permits from Petronas personnel from outside Sarawak who intend to work in the state, with immediate effect on Aug 7.
The move announced by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas followed a finding by Sarawak state-founded think tank Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG).
Finding sparks an outcry
SPG claimed that only 39 percent of the management positions and 46 percent of mid-management positions in Petronas’ Sarawak operations were filled by Sarawakians.
Among them was the Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen, who demanded that the state government bar Peninsular Malaysians from working as Petronas executives in Sarawak, and revoke existing work permits until the firm increases the participation of Sarawakians in its management in the state to 70 percent.
Meanwhile, Petronas said it would continue to engage with the state government on its restructuring exercise and manpower requirements, the former of which it said has been misconstrued to be unfairly hurting its employees from Sarawak.
“Petronas, like many other oil and gas companies worldwide, will continue to review its business strategies and manpower requirements for better efficiency and sustainability, to make it more resilient and focused to thrive in the current and future industry landscapes,” it added.