Make Petronas answer to Parliament, not just PM, says MP

The Petroleum Development Act states that Petronas is only answerable to the prime minister.

KUALA LUMPUR: Subang MP Wong Chen has expressed disappointment in Putrajaya’s decision not to amend the Petroleum Development Act to make Petronas accountable to Parliament.

“Time and time again, we know that Petronas has been asked to do ‘national service’, sometimes as a result of poor fiscal discipline spendthrift attitudes of the Cabinet,” he said at a press conference.

“When the latter happens, Petronas should be accountable to Parliament and in fact, MPs should defend Petronas from any feckless request for funds from the Cabinet,” he said.

He said Petronas did not need to reveal everything to the entire Parliament as a special select committee could be appointed and made to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Petronas should not be accountable to the prime minister alone.

Wong Chen

Wong said he had asked the prime minister if the government would amend the act to curb the excessive powers given to the prime minister.

In a written parliamentary reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mustapa Mohamed merely said the national oil company was managed by excellent executives and directors.

When asked whether the public accounts committee could probe Petronas as it had investigated Khazanah Nasional Bhd last year, Wong said that the PAC could only make a request.

“The law clearly states that Petronas only reports to the prime minister. They’re not obliged to (answer to the PAC). And I don’t know if Petronas’ executives and directors are willing to disregard the prime minister’s powers and engage us directly.”