The state could now assert its authority in the national oil and gas industry now that a Sarawakian has been nominated to sit on Petronas’ board of directors.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said this in his speech at the launch of the Sarawak Business Federation at Hilton hotel here on Friday.
Adenan thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the appointment, saying the move was justified considering the decades of oil and gas extraction by the national oil corporation in the state.
“Would you believe it, they take our oil, they take our gas for all these years and (there’s) not even a Sarawakian in the (Petronas) board of directors.
“Now that we have (board member), we will upsurge our authority. Otherwise I will not give you work permits.”
Adenan added he would rather take a softer approach in his negotiation with Petronas than to put his foot down on the issue.
“I cannot tolerate the situation where people take our oil, take our gas and we just look at it. We must participate in the industry – meaningful participation.
“There is no more excuse to say that our people are not qualified. Petronas has been involved in the oil and gas industry in Sarawak for the last 40 years and Shell even before that don’t tell me there are no qualified people.”
He said he was happy that the new management of Petronas has been cooperative and that the state is looking forward to better relations with the corporation in the years ahead.
On Aug 27 the chief minister said the state government would not hesitate to freeze work permits of Petronas personnel outside of the state if the national oil and gas corporation fails to meet Sarawak’s demand for improved participation in the oil and gas industry.
He made this stand when he announced that State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani had been nominated to sit on Petronas’ Board.
Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith, firstname.lastname@example.org