Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How appreciates the good efforts of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government in their negotiations with the federal government and Petronas.
See, who is state PKR vice-chairman, also congratulated the state administration for the breakthrough in the negotiations, particularly in securing more favourable employment opportunities for Sarawakians in Petronas operations in Sarawak.
“I must put on record my appreciation to the good efforts of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government and congratulate the state administration for the breakthrough in the negotiation with the federal government and Petronas, particularly in securing more favourable employment opportunities for Sarawakians in Petronas’ operations in Sarawak, but I still think that the concession by Putrajaya is still ‘too little too slow’,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
“This is a collective feat of all Sarawakians, with many concerned groups and individuals standing up to the national oil company, expressing their opinions and asserting the State’s rights and interests. Hence, all Sarawakians can applaud ourselves for the modest achievement so far.”
However, See said Sarawakians must continue the good efforts and work harder to assert and claim what is rightfully theirs, for the benefit of the State and all Sarawakians.
“I am particularly pleased with the working plan of Petronas to increase the number of Sarawakians to be employed in the Sarawak operation by 2020. Most unfortunately, there is still no agreement by Petronas that the position of the general manager of Petronas Sarawak Operation must be a Sarawakian, at least by 2020 as we have numerous candidates who are capable and qualify for the position. I am hopeful that the chief minister and the state administration will be persistent in this pursuit.”
At the same time, See said Sarawakians must insist that the human resource manager for the Sarawak Operation must be a Sarawakian, and that a recruitment body be set up under the supervision of the Sarawak State Secretary to ensure the implementation and realisation of the localisation plan.
Although there had already been breakthrough in the negotiation, he said there were still many challenges ahead.
“While we asked for a campus of University Technology Petronas to be set up in Sarawak to ensure that there will be easier access and better opportunity for Sarawakians to be enrolled for undergraduate studies in the university, we are now promised of ‘up to 50 places for Sarawakians to do undergraduate studies at the university’. We certainly cannot be happy with this.
“The most disappointing and unacceptable of all is to leave it to Petronas and the federal government to consider Sarawak’s intention to participate in Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) so that the State can benefit from the contracts.”
See opined that the Chief Minister and his administration must be determined and unrelenting to assert the state’s rights over the control and development of all the natural resources found within the territorial boundary of Sarawak and that the state government must be involved in the award of all licences and PSCs for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas and related petroleum products in Sarawak, whether onshore or offshore of Sarawak.
“We have lost much over the last 50 years. Sarawak has suffered as a result of it being the State which is most lacking in basic amenities and infrastructural development, and Sarawakians are among the poorest in the country. We cannot allow the federal government to continue to dictate to us on the exploitation and development of our natural resources which are depleting fast.”
See reiterated his call to the state government to assert its rights in the control and development of all natural resources found within the territorial boundary of Sarawak and to set up a sovereign wealth fund with the sole purpose of investing in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and related petroleum products in Sarawak.
“Petronas is certainly a preferred partner in our ventures as their experience and involvement in Sarawak are of great assistance to us, but Sarawak must be the ultimate decision-maker in the endeavours, not leaving it to the federal government and others to further dictate and consider giving us some concessions.”
See said it was clear that the federal government and Petronas were keeping the award of the PSC for the exploration of Block SK410B just outside Sarawak to PTTEP HK Offshores of Thailand and Kufpec Malaysia of Kuwait from the state government.
In the joint venture, Petronas Carigali has a 15 per cent stake while Sarawak has nothing.
“I will forward the relevant information to the Chief Minister’s Office on Monday, and I hope that the Chief Minister will follow up with a strong representation to the federal government to protest on the award of this PSC which is detrimental and prejudicial to us, without the knowledge and sanction of the state government.
“With the appointment of the Sarawak State Secretary in the Board of Directors of Petronas, I certainly hope that the Honourable State Secretary will be his vigilant self and most determined to safeguard the rights of Sarawak over all the resources within our territorial boundary.”
The Borneo Post Online