After successfully getting Petronas to allocate more executive jobs for locals, Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem says the state government still intends to push for more demands, including the raising of the state’s share of oil revenues.
Sarawak currently takes in an annual 5 per cent royalty of oil and gas from its shores.
“A few days ago, Petronas agreed with the seven points put forward by Sarawak. This is a start as we will continue to hold negotiations with Petronas regarding royalty and other matters,” Adenan told an audience in Sri Aman, as the state celebrated Merdeka Day today.
Also present was Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud.
Adenan denied however that the state wanted to “weaken” the Malaysian Federation, but were claiming rights as provided under the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement 1963, the Malaysia Act, the Inter-Governmental Reporters and Recommendations, and the Cobbold Commission Report.
“(It is) not because we want to weaken the Federation of Malaysia. In fact, the readiness of the Prime Minister to negotiate with Sarawak in an effort to devolve power and return the autonomy powers of Sarawak, which has been eroded all this while, has lit up the spirit of Sarawak to ensure Malaysia continues to go strong,” Adenan said.
“We wish to thank the Prime Minister for having an open mind towards Sarawak’s requests (for more autonomy).”
“We would also like to thank Petronas for respecting the wishes of Sarawak and being ready to come to the negotiating table so that the state may better benefit from its oil and gas resources.
“Prior to this, no Sarawakian was appointed to the Petronas board of directors. After negotiation, Petronas has agreed that the State Secretary be appointed as Sarawak’s representative,” Adenan said.
The seven points were agreed to during a meeting between Putrajaya, Petronas and the state government on the hiring policy of Petronas in Sarawak on Friday.
The meeting, which took place at the Prime Minister’s Office, was attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak, Petronas chief executive officer Wan Zulkifli Wan Ariffin and Adenan.
Among others, Putrajaya and Petronas agreed to appoint State Secretary Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani as a member of the board of directors of Petronas.
Sarawakians will also fill 75 per cent of executive positions, and 60 per cent of managerial and management positions by 2020.
In an announcement last Saturday, Adenan said the state government would now consider lifting a freeze on work permits and review all 586 positions for which work permits were sought, to ensure Sarawakians were given priority in filling the posts.