Rastam Hadi, ‘visionary’ first MD of Petronas, dies

Rastam Hadi, described as “visionary” and a nationalist, was MD of Petronas from 1974-1987.

PETALING JAYA: Rastam Hadi, the first employee of Petronas and also its first managing director, died today two weeks short of his 89th birthday.

He was described as a visionary and a nationalist.

His daughter, lawyer and composer Saidah Rastam, said he died at 3.20am at her home in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur. He was buried at Bukit Kiara cemetery this afternoon.

Rastam was managing director of the national oil and gas company from 1974 to 1987, and also served as the company’s senior vice-president (upstream sector) from 1987 to 1989.

In announcing his death, Petronas said: “We express our deepest condolences on the demise of Dato’ Rastam Hadi, earlier today, on 9 May 2020. May Allah bless his soul.”

Former Petronas president and chief executive officer Mohd Hassan Marican, expressed his condolences to Rastam’s family.

“He was a man of principle and integrity. It is sad to hear that he has passed on,” Hassan said to FMT.

Hassan described Rastam as a “nationalist”. He was one of the oil company’s senior officials who disagreed with the expansion of overseas operations in the early 1990s, urging instead that the company focus on strengthening its operations in Malaysia.

A commentator on social media described Rastam today as a “visionary”.

Iskandar Basha Abdul Kadir, commenting on the Petronas posting, said: “The foundations he put in place in Petronas will continue to beneficially serve us. (This is) a great loss to the nation.”

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