Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing was infuriated yesterday by news that Petronas was planning to send 90 more Peninsular Malaysians to be based in the state when it had retrenched Sarawakian staff.
“Why does Petronas need 90 work permits when local Sarawakians in Petronas are being retrenched? Is Petronas doing the restructuring of its employees for trimming exercise due to the economic downturn, or are they replacing Sarawakians with West Malaysians? Is it retrenching or replacing or exercise?” he asked, questioning the intention of the national oil corporation.
“Petronas, please be transparent with us. We are not your dumping ground for peninsula employees,” Masing said when contacted.
The Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister said Petronas must not take the cry of Sarawakians and its leaders for granted.
When officiating at a Serakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) Samarahan Thanksgiving dinner on Monday night here, Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) treasurer-general Christopher Gira said the union supported Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s move to freeze work permits for Petronas’ Peninsular Malaysian staff to work in Sarawak until the corporation rectifies the sticky situation.
“SDNU fully supports the state government’s move to stop issuing work permits to West Malaysians working in the O&G (oil and gas) industry in Sarawak. Job opportunities in the O&G shall be filled by Sarawakians first before they are offered to West Malaysians,” Gira suggested.
The Tamin assemblyman said SDNU would also like to see more Sarawakians promoted to top management positions in the O&G industry, especially within Petronas or its group of companies.
The issue of Petronas staff in the state has been hogging the limelight ever since it was highlighted by Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) that the abolishment of 29 permanent positions had resulted in the retrenchment of 13 experienced staff from Sarawak by Petronas in its upstream restructuring exercise in Sarawak recently.
SPG president Hamim Yusuf said most senior jobs were also filled by non-Sarawakians and the influx of Peninsular Malaysians filling the lower level jobs exacerbated the situation for the state.
Since then, leaders from both political divide have urged the state government to act fast to stop workers from other states to work in the state.
On Monday, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani was said to have a fruitful meeting with Petronas top brass.
The Petronas team was led by its executive vice-president and chief executive officer of Upstream Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib. Among Petronas delegates were senior vice president of Group Human Resource Management Datuk Raiha Azni Abdul Rahman and senior vice president of Corporate Strategy Adif Zulkifli.
This was disclosed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who went on to say that the ultimate aim of the ongoing meetings and negotiations with Petronas is to achieve an amiable solution that will benefit Sarawakians in the long run.
The meeting was held following the state government’s decision to issue a moratorium on all new applications for work permits for Petronas employees from outside Sarawak to work in the state.
The Borneo Post Online