The Sarawak government and Putrajaya reached amicable agreements with regard to Petronas employment issues following a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Aug 26).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani will represent Sarawak as a member of the board of directors of Petronas.
“The 192 posts now vacant are to be advertised in local papers and to be filled by Sarawakians. Petronas is to consult the state government if no Sarawakian is suitable for the job,” Adenan announced at a news conferences at the VIP holding room of Hornbill Skyways here today (Aug 27).
Also with him at the conference were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Morshidi.
Adenan said Petronas would provide up to 50 places for Sarawakians to do undergraduate studies at University Technology Petronas.
He added that Petronas would also intensify technical training for Sarawakians and enrol more Sarawakians in their training centres throughout the country.
Apart from that, Petronas would be committed to supporting two petrochemical industries presently under final negotiation, pointed out Adenan.
“Petronas will also support other petrochemical and downstream industries after the completion of the joint study on petrochemical industries with the state government.”
He said Petronas together with the federal government would consider the intention of state government to participate in production sharing contracts (PSCs) so that the state could benefit from them.
More importantly, Adenan said Petronas had agreed to increase the number of Sarawakians working for Petronas in the state by 2020.
In a breakdown, he said those involved at the management level would increase from 33 per cent to 60 per cent while manager level would see an increase from 41 per cent to 60 per cent and executive level, 48 to 75 per cent.
At present, he said there were 3,880 Sarawakians and 1,310 non-Sarawakian Petronas employees in the state.
“The total number of Sarawakians in Petronas outside Sarawak is 1,000.”
He said the subcommittee chaired by Morshidi would review the issuance of work permit with a view to lifting some which were being freezed.
“State will review all 586 positions now pending approval for work permit to ensure that Sarawakians are given priority to fill the posts,” added Adenan.
The issue was raised in The Borneo Post when Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) revealed that Petronas in a restructuring process had abolished 29 permanent positions which resulted in the retrenchment of 13 experienced staff from Sarawak.
Since then, leaders across the political divide have urged the State Government to act fast to stop workers from other states from working here, prompting the state government to impose a moratorium with immediate effect on all new applications for work permit by Petronas personnel from outside Sarawak intending to work here.
In response, Petronas had on Tuesday (Aug 9) issued a statement asserting its stand on hiring practices and that the decision to impose a moratorium was based on “the wrong perception that its recent group-wide business restructuring had unfairly impacted its employees from Sarawak.”
Lim How Pim, email@example.com