KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem said the non-renewal of Torstein Sjøtveit’s contract as CEO of Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) was not due to external pressure.
“He doesn’t want his contract to be renewed. He wants to go home,” Adenan told reporters here today.
“It has nothing to do with Bruno Manser (Fund). Nothing to do with it. His contract expires. He doesn’t want it to be renewed.
“And we have already decided on his replacement,” Adenan said, adding that “it would be better if we have a Sarawakian”.
Sjøtveit will be replaced by Sharbini Suhaili, a Sarawakian from Kuching, and currently Petronas Group Vice-President for Health, Safety, Security and Environment.
In a statement yesterday, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) said it welcomed the non-renewal of Sjøtveit’s contract and hoped that the new CEO will ensure “transparency and accountability” at SEB.
“It’s never too late to Score a victory,” BMF said, making a reference to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score), a development corridor programme launched in 2008, which the fund claimed had caused environmental damage.
BMF said Sjøtveit’s contract was not renewed because Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem cancelled the 1500 MW Baram Dam, which was Sjøtveit’s pet project as Sarawak Energy CEO.
In March 2016, the project was shelved and the lands gazetted for the Baram dam returned to indigenous owners.
Sjøtveit, a trained civil engineer, joined SEB in late 2009 under then Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.