Petronas troubled over Sarawak’s freeze on new work permits


KUCHING: Petronas has expressed concern over the Sarawak government’s decision to impose a moratorium on new work permit applications for its non-Sarawakian employees.

The national oil corporation said in a statement yesterday that the state government’s decision could have been based on a misconception that Petronas’ recent group-wide business restructuring had unfairly impacted its employees from Sarawak.

“Sarawak remains a key investment state for Petronas, where its workforce requirement will continue to grow. Petronas expects the majority of the workforce required to meet the new manpower demand to be Sarawakians.

“A number of positions are expected to be filled by experienced employees, which may include non-Sarawakians,” it said.

Petronas said support and commitment from all relevant parties, including its qualified and trained employees regardless of where they were from, were key to the successful delivery and operations of its projects in Sarawak. It also said it had held briefings with state government officers at various levels following the restructuring exercise.

“We will continue with our engagement efforts, including with Uggah, to address the state’s concerns with regard to our manpower requirement in Sarawak,” it said.

Local oil and gas think-tank Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) president Hamim Yusuf said the Sarawak government’s move to freeze new work permits for non-Sarawakian Petronas personnel reflects the state’s concerns about getting fair and equitable treatment from Petronas.

He said the move should be seen as part of broader issues being pursued by Sarawak in relation to the oil and gas industry.