Rumours Petronas is bypassing work permits in Sarawak


MIRI: Petronas’ use of a jetty at Kampung Pulau Melayu has raised questions as to whether it is bringing in workers from Peninsular Malaysia in defiance of a state government order against it.

Members of the public have alerted The Borneo Post that they suspect Petronas is using this jetty to send its workers to work on the platforms and oil rigs in the waters off Bintulu and here.

A Borneo Post reporter who went to the jetty early Wednesday morning saw Petronas offshore workers taking off from the jetty. However, it could not be confirmed if these offshore workers had work permits to work in the state, said the Borneo Post report.

Apparently the national oil corporation was compelled to use the jetty because the Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) has stopped Petronas offshore workers from using its port to go to D35 and Temena platforms.

A BPA spokesman told The Borneo Post that it was complying with the immigration procedure on work permits.

Meanwhile, Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) called on the Immigration Department to check employees of Petronas and its subsidiary companies embarking and disembarking at the jetty to ensure that they have valid work permits.

“Immigration can check offshore workers on transit from and to platforms and rigs in Bintulu and Miri waters at the jetty (in Kampung Pulau Melayu, Miri) to ensure that West Malaysians working in the state comply with the Immigration Act,” its deputy president Jamel Ibrahim told The Borneo Post.

SPG has been vocal in protesting against the recent move by Petronas to recruit junior staff from Peninsular Malaysia to replace experienced Sarawakians in its oil and gas operations in Sarawak waters.

State Immigration Director Ken Leben told the Borneo Post that the department would continue to freeze new work permits for Peninsular Malaysian staff of Petronas and its subsidiaries intending to work in the state.

“We are following the directive from the state government to freeze new work permits for West Malaysians working in Sarawak for Petronas and its subsidiaries,” he was quoted as saying.