Sarawakians are not telling Petronas how to run its organisation but are merely asking the national oil and gas corporation to be sensitive enough to the needs of the locals.
In making this statement, PKR Baram secretary Dennis Along said its operations are in Sarawak and are not highly technical at all, therefore positions in its operations can easily be filled by Sarawakians.
“The current state of Petronas staffing is a good indication and a clear reflection of the end product, of the failure by Petronas HR (Human Resource Dept) to recruit more Sarawakians progressively over the years,” claimed Dennis, who was informed on the present situation in Petronas by its former employees who wished to remain anonymous.
According to Dennis, the intake of Sarawakians into Petronas since its presence in the state has been disappointing and consistently low.
Consequently, he said, the number of those qualified to occupy and fill executive and managerial positions or above has also been correspondingly low.
“This is why the HR manager for Sarawak must be a Sarawakian, and the recruitment for Petronas, including PDB (Petronas Dagangan Berhad) Sarawak operations, must be done in Sarawak, and priority must be given to Sarawakians,” he stressed.
Dennis argued that as it is now, by having a West Malaysian HR manager based in Kuala Lumpur, it has clearly been shown that they have the tendency to recruit more staff from the Peninsula and ignore Sarawakians.
He said Petronas must therefore change its recruitment policy and empathise more with local needs or Sarawakians.
From the Sarawakian point of view, he said Sarawakians and the State Government are serious and want Petronas to change its HR policy, to now give priority to locals at all times in all its subsidiaries that are operating in Sarawak.
He asked whether all PDB West Malaysian staff in Sarawak have valid work permits or are most of them still conveniently continuing the normal Petronas’ casual policy of entering and working on social visit passes.
“What gives Petronas the right to casually flout Sarawak’s Immigration work permit regulations and worse of all to lie about it,” he added.
A former oil and gas employee who wished not to be identified asked: “Is Petronas operating as a multi-national oil company (MNC) or as a national oil company (NOC) in Sarawak?”
He said for MNCs, normally the focus is profit maximisation and sustainable growth whereas an NOC has corporate social responsibilities and other obligations to the country in which it operates.
To him, Sarawak’s primary concern is not only to maximise economic efficiency but also for the generation of social value creation, and this includes the prioritisation of Sarawakians in Petronas’ workforce, especially in its operations in Sarawak.
“Although the maximisation of social value obligations can be considered a matter of political choice, it also has its economic benefits as far as the state is concerned.
“Moreover, Petronas must not forget that Sarawak is one of their main O&G revenue contributors from the state’s petroleum resources entrusted to it,” he pointed out.
Thus, Petronas needs to change its HR policy that continuously favours non-Sarawakians, he stressed.
“This can very clearly be seen in their workforce at their Petronas Dagangan Berhad (PDB) Sarawak operations,” he elaborated.
Mohamad Abdullah, email@example.com