The Sarawak Government must do more than just impose a freeze on new work permit applications for Petronas employees, state DAP Chief Chong Chien Jen said.
Accusing the national oil and gas firm of stalling on its promise made two years ago to give more job opportunities for locals in its Sarawak operations, Chong said it was time for the state to revoke existing work permits issued to Petronas’ top and middle management.
“The Sarawak Government must commence the revocation of the existing work permits of Petronas’ top and middle management in its Sarawak operations towards the target of 70% local Sarawakians at the same levels.
“This is a test of the Sarawak Government’s priorities, that is whether Sarawakians’ interests come first, or the wishes of Putrajaya and Petronas come first,” the Bandar Kuching MP said.
He added that the issue of giving more job opportunities to Sarawakians had been agreed to between Petronas and Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem in November 2014.
“The same was also reported by Adenan during the Sarawak state assembly sitting the same month,” Chong said.
“However, more than 20 months have passed, yet only 39% of the management positions and 46% of the middle management positions are filled by Sarawakians in Petronas’ operations in Sarawak.”
Referring to a statement from Petronas yesterday in which the company said its “teams of qualified, trained and dedicated employees – no matter where they are from” are key to its operations in Sarawak, Chong said it was just an excuse to defend its unfair employment policy, which short-changed Sarawakians.
“Stop giving excuses and take immediate steps to rectify the lop-sided employee composition in Petronas’ operations in Sarawak.
“There are more than enough qualified, trained and dedicated Sarawakians to take up the top and middle management level positions in Petronas’ Sarawak operations. However, we are not given the opportunities in Petronas,” Chong said.
The Kota Sentosa state assemblyman added that the Petronas statement also seemed to imply the company was firm on defending the current composition of staff at its management and middle management positions in Sarawak.
“In this standoff, we are waiting to see whether the state government is going to give in to Petronas and the powers that be in Putrajaya.”