Source: The Star Online, 20 June 2008

MUCH has been bandied recently in the press about Petronas and it would appear that in a rather unfair way Petronas has been a victim of its own success.

Having worked in Petronas in the 80s through the mid-90s, I think I am in a position to offer certain insights about Petronas.

First, if Petronas was not formed way back in 1974, petroleum resources in this country would have ended up in the same current state of affairs as timber i.e. in the control of the respective state governments.

Why has it not dawned upon any politician or NGO to question what has happened to or, more pertinently, who have been the beneficiaries of timber revenues? Why is there no similar call for transparency on the accounts of the state governments or their statutory agencies entrusted with regulating or managing the timber resources, which are also the assets of the rakyat?

Secondly, with the ownership and management of all petroleum resources consolidated under a company, not a statutory agency, the former Prime Minister Tun Razak created the opportunity for Petronas to be run as a business by professionals. And this was well before the privatisation era of Tun Dr Mahathir.

This opportunity was not fully exploited in the formative years of Petronas as its management and staff were on the learning curve in understanding the oil business and dealing with the multi-national oil companies. With the entry of Tan Sri Azizan in the mid-80s and subsequently Tan Sri Hassan Marican, that opportunity was exploited and, as we now know, with much ensuing success.

Having worked through those earlier formative years of Petronas, I wish to highlight that the public ought to realise that it has taken a lot of hard work for Petronas to be now accepted by the oil majors as a company they can and wish to do business with, in particular outside Malaysia.

By the same token, just like any professionally managed company, there are certain confidential information and trade secrets that Petronas cannot divulge without adverse impact on its own business.

Most importantly, I must on behalf of all right-thinking Malaysians salute Tun Razak for his wisdom and temerity to push through the resistance of certain states, in particular Sabah, to consolidate the ownership of petroleum resources in this country under Petronas.

Look at how difficult it is today to deal with the consolidation of management of inter-state water utilisation, water being another state-owned resource like timber.

Without Petronas, we could have ended up not quite differently from the timber situation and the petroleum resources would selectively produce some individual oil barons in oil-producing states, not unlike our timber tycoons.

K H LIM,
Petaling Jaya.

2 comments:

betul. Yang membuatkan Petronas jadi mangsa adalah kerajaan sendiri.

June 20, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

Sdr Harimau,

Kami mlm tadi berborak sesama rakan2 Petronas di sini (Sydney) dan masing2 percaya Petronas tidak sepatutnya ditekan dan dipertanggungjawapkan atas kebanyakan masalah mengenai isu ketelusan akaun Petronas, kenaikan harga dan subsidi petroleum kerana kesemua polisi ini dipegang oleh Pentadbiran PakLah. Oleh kerana Petronas secara strategiknya diletakkan di bawah pejabat PM, hanya PM yg mempunyai kata putus mengenainya. Padan pun Shahrir Samad seperti tidak diberitahu dan Parlimen tidak sempat membincangkannya. Kami sebulat suara bersetuju, politikus yg sebenarnya menharu-birukan suasana dan membuat tindakan2 yg tidak selari dgn profesionalism Petronas selama ini.

Bagi saya, politikus2 inilah yg sebenarnya menggadai dan membuat sesuka hati 'national treasure' (hasil petroleum) negara kita. Bayangkan berapa bilion perolehan Petronas cair dan mengalir ke poket2 mereka2 yg berkepentingan begini dan pembaziran2 yg tentunya berfaedah sekiranya digunakan dgn betul oleh pemimpin2 yg amanah (Bukankah kebanyakannya beragama Islam?). Mudahnya, kekayaan negara dirompak dalam terang dan kita sebenarnya bertanggungjawap menidakkannya.

June 21, 2008 at 11:04 AM