Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG), a Sarawakian non-profit organisation, has come out in defence of the Sarawak State Government’s actions pertaining to Petronas’ operation in the state.
The group also stressed that Petronas must be penalised for work permit violations and that Peninsular Malaysian employees working on social visit passes must be deported immediately.
In a statement, SPG responded to Unimas political scientist Assoc Prof Andrew Aeria, who in a recent interview with BFM 89.9 raised questions over the targeting of Petronas by the State Government over the issue of 13 senior Sarawakian staff who had been retrenched and whether the matter had been blown out of proportion by the State Government.
Aeria, SPG said, had also accused state politicians on both sides of the divide of failing to raise the level of political discourse and instead engage in jingoism.
SPG, which had originally highlighted the issue of the 13 Sarawakians, however said that the issues it raised were not solely tied to that one case, but Petronas’ purported discrimination of Sarawakians and the national oil company’s alleged non-compliance with Sarawak work permit regulations.
SPG said given the fact that Petronas had been in total control of Sarawak’s petroleum resources for 42 years and had supposedly raked in RM400 billion from Sarawak alone, it was strange that Aeria was portraying Petronas as the victim of bullying.
“Why doesn’t Petronas see the need to develop the human resource potential of Sarawakians to the fullest, as an obligation, not just an option, after the palpable neglect of so many years?
“Is asking for what is rightfully Sarawak’s, jingoism?”
SPG also said that it was unfair of Aeria to blame the Sarawak State Government for a lack of infrastructure and utilities in the state, as the State Government only received a mere 5 per cent cash payment for its petroleum resources, and had to beg Putrajaya for development funds.
While the group acknowledged that promotions should be based on merit, it asked if Petronas was not in favour of recruiting Sarawakians in the first place, how could Sarawakians be expected to fill positions on merit.
The group questioned how no Sarawakian was deemed qualified to become a head, be it at the regional or at the headquarters level, after 42 years of Petronas’s operatorship.
“This reflects a gross neglect and failure of Petronas’s HR policies and practices, yet they now choose to push the blame back to the State Government and Sarawakians for criticising them.”
Previously, SPG had called on Petronas to prioritise the employment of Sarawakians in the national oil company’s operations in the state.
This had led to the Sarawak State Government freezing work permits of Peninsular Malaysian Petronas employees in the state.
FMT Reporters Online