Petronas jobs: Leiking urges Sabah to follow Swak’s lead

PETALING JAYA: A PKR vice-president has urged the Sabah Government to emulate Sarawak in freezing the working permits of non-Sarawakian Petronas employees.

In a statement, Penampang lawmaker Darell Leiking said the Sarawak Government’s move to do so showed how serious Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s administration was in protecting the welfare of Sarawakians, particularly in the oil and gas sectors.

Sabahans, he noted, faced a similar problem where a majority of non-Sabahans were given administrative posts or employed in engineering departments in the oil giant.

Sadly, Leiking claimed, Sabahans were resigned to accept such a situation purely because they wanted to keep their jobs.

“This is why the Sabah Government must step in, like the Sarawakians, to save Sabahans. Implement the same ruling as the Sarawakians.”

Yesterday, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas announced a freeze on all new applications for work permits for Petronas staff to work in the state with immediate effect.

Uggah explained the decision was to ensure Petronas would be fair and transparent in engaging with Sarawak regarding its operations in the state.

The initiative was also prompted by complaints from Sarawakian Petronas officers whose services were terminated or who were retrenched.

Last week, the oil firm retrenched 13 Sarawakian workers following a restructuring exercise. Petronas also abolished 29 permanent positions.

Leiking is the second Opposition leader to laud the Sarawak Government for its move.

Earlier today, Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen, in welcoming the move, said the freeze would force Petronas “to view seriously” the demands of the state in terms of fairer employment policies and allocation of resources.