Najib should present ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday on various current Petronas issues

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should present a ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday on various current Petronas issues – a new CEO, his insistence to appoint defaulter Omar Mustapha as Petronas director, declining Petronas profits and most important of all, a new regime of Petronas accountability to Parliament.

Recently, what is making waves in Petronas and well-informed local circles and reported internationally, though completely swept under the carpet by the local mainstream media, is the repeated attempts by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to force the appointment of his aide, Omar Mustapha as director of Petronas.

The Singapore Straits Times has reported that the Petronas Board of Directors has rebuffed Najib’s attempt to foist the appointment of Omar for the second time this Wednesday, as the Board was directed by Najib to reconsider its decision last month rejecting Omar’s appointment.

The reason for the Petronas Board’s rejection of Omar as director is that Omar had defaulted on his scholarship loan agreement with Petronas two decades earlier. Omar did not complete the required number of years of service with the national oil corporation or a related government agency as stipulated in his scholarship agreement. Petronas also initiated legal proceedings against Omar in 2001.

Najib should explain to Parliament why he is insisting on appointing a Petronas loan defaulter as a director of Petronas, as the widespread objections to Omar’s appointment to the Petronas, now taking up by the Board, is fully justified and valid.

Furthermore, why as a former Petronas officer, Najib is so reckless about the adverse effect on the morale of serving and dedicated Petronas officers that would result from the appointment of a Petronas defaulter to the Petronas Board!

Parliament should also be informed whether the Prime Minister is looking for a new Petronas CEO to replace Tan Sri Hassan Merican.

Earlier, the name of former Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had been bruited as the likely new Petronas CEO. In the last few days, another name has emerged: Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh, the Felda Holdings group managing director, and that he is to understudy Hassan until the present Petronas CEO’s retirement next February.

Although the final decision of the new Petronas CEO rests with the Prime Minister, MPs from both sides of the divide should be given the opportunity to give their views on the possible candidates.

Parliamentarians, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, must also be given regular updates of Malaysia’s only company on Fortune 500, especially as Petronas has just reported a net profit decline by 13.9 per cent due to low oil prices and high production costs.

The group reported RM52.5 billion in net profit compared with RM61 billion the previous year although its revenue increased by 18.4 per cent to RM264.2 billion compared with RM223.1 billion the previous year.

Petronas plays a critical and strategic role in the public finances of the country, as Petronas paid out to the government RM74 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2009 compared with RM61.6 billion the previous year, an increase of 20.1 per cent.

The payment represented 71.4 per cent of the group’s profit before tax, royalty and export duty of RM103.7 billion. Of the payment, RM30 billion was in the form of dividends and the rest in taxes, royalty and export duty.

Petronas contributions amounted to RM72.5 billion or 45 per cent of federal government revenue in the 2008 calendar year.

This is a very high figure reflecting the government’s heavy dependence on oil revenue, a situation which may not be sustainable or ideal for a country trying to develop an economy based on knowledge and innovation.

Petronas represents the biggest chink in the government’s armour in its claim of accountability, transparency and good governance as the national oil corporation as presently constituted is totally not accountable to Parliament!

There is no annual Petronas report to Parliament. The Public Accounts Committee has not even dared to call up the Petronas CEO and President to give a proper accounting of his stewardship of Petronas.

If Najib is sincere in his motto of “1Malaysia, People First. Performance Now”, he should present to Parliament on Monday his proposal for a new regime of Petronas accountability to that there is meaningful monitoring and accounting of the petro-ringgit in Parliament.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:00 pm

    “…..Omar had defaulted on his scholarship loan agreement with Petronas two decades earlier. Omar did not complete the required number of years of service with the national oil corporation or a related government agency as stipulated in his scholarship agreement. Petronas also initiated legal proceedings against Omar in 2001.”

    Two things here:

    1. What has happened to the court case started in 2001?

    2. Isn’t Omar Ong the defaulter, coming back “to serve Petronas and a related government agency” possibly for a long time to come, now trying to fulfill his obligations under his scholarship contract?

  2. #2 by limkamput on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:04 pm

    If indeed there was an insistence by the PM to direct the Board to appoint this fellow, then it does show we have a board that is independent and able to make its own decision. Is this not what we generally want for most GLCs, i.e. independent, transparent and assertive boards? It is never easy to be independent, transparent and assertive, unless most board members themselves have no skeletons in the cupboard.

    If the PM back down on this, it is not a sign of weakness. It only shows that the PM has learned to accept that there are instances where he authority can be challenged or his decision may not a wise one.

  3. #3 by limkamput on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:07 pm

    sorry ….only shows that the PM has learned to accept that there are instances where his authority can be challenged or his decision may not a wise one.

  4. #4 by limkamput on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:12 pm

    My concern is the reason for not accepting this fellow is not BECAUSE HE IS A defaulter, neither is due to Naj!b’s recommendation. The board may have its own peculiar reasons.

  5. #5 by mendela on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:26 pm

    Najis needs money.

    The only place that Najis still can find some money is non other than Petronas!

    No one will believe the reason Najis wanted to bring in Omar is to improve Petronas profitability!

  6. #6 by taiking on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:33 pm

    He is sowing seeds around him and in time crony fruit trees would grow.

  7. #7 by tanjong8 on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 1:42 pm

    Let them carry on with the mismanagement of the country but DAP must continue to expose them relentlessly.

    Enough is enough

    DAP and PR must continue to work hard, to select its candidates properly and to streghten the organisation so that come 2013 we shall have a change of central government.

  8. #8 by the reds on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 2:01 pm

    How can a Yemeni to be appointed as Petronas Chairman while loan defaulter as CEO? Najib, are you kidding with us?

  9. #9 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 2:07 pm

    If a new Petronas CEO is going to be appointed in order to replace the present CEO, Tan Sri Hassan Merican, then Tan Sri Hassan Merican should later be appointed as Petronas Advisor in order to take over the post currently occupied by Tun Dr. Mahathir. This arrangement is the best for Najib to shake off the dark shadow of Dr. Mahathir which always overshadows Najib and make Najib look like a puppet of Dr. Mahathir.

    It should be time now for Dr. Mahathir to learn about the truth that no one man in this world is indispensable! Dr. Mahathir should also learn that he should not bet too heavily on one horse, lest he would lose all his pants by betting upon this kicking horse, which might be kicking on his big buttock when he gets too old!

  10. #10 by rabbit on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 2:17 pm

    so simple, this Ong is another daughtr of scandal.. like our friend said above, let them do it let them go, DAP nPr make sure dig out every foot step where this walk b4. from top to btm, our PM look like TPE x-PM TSP…

  11. #11 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 2:59 pm

    MCA and other chinese parties are all good in angkat biji. That is why they are organising the big party for the emperor. Under this bad economy situation, don’t waste more of the people’s money. A true leader should reject any treatment as an emperor.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 3:37 pm

    “The MCA and 15 major Chinese guilds will host a welcome dinner for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The event will be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre tomorrow.”
    “The dinner is to show our support for Najib,” Liow TL said.

    Wonderful wonderful
    Please DO NOT forget to have banners
    all over the venue to bring back nostalgic feelings to Najib
    who, as the Umno Youth leader then,
    led the Umno Youth rally on 17 Oct 1987


  13. #13 by boh-liao on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 3:47 pm

    Finally the ill-conceived
    Desperate 2 Nab Anwar (DNA)
    Identification Bill 2008 was passed in the Dewan Rakyat
    with only a one-vote majority

  14. #14 by yhsiew on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 3:49 pm

    I do not believe the reason for the Petronas Board’s rejection of Omar as director is that Omar had defaulted on his scholarship loan agreement with Petronas two decades earlier.

    If Omar really has the knowledge and know-how, Petronas Board would have asked Omar to repay everything (perhaps including compensation) before giving him the job.

    I think Petronas Board is wary that once Omar sets foot in Petronas, Najib will use him to ‘squeeze’ money out of Petronas.

  15. #15 by Loh on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 5:15 pm

    Sorry, off-topic

    Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
    on June 26, 2009 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBacks (0)

    ///1. I put the document on the financing of the construction of the Johor Causeway because a Minister in Tun Abdullah’s Government claimed that it is jointly owned by us and Singapore. Therefore Singapore must agree before anything (demolition) is done to the causeway.

    2. There has never been any agreement or treaty to say that the causeway is jointly owned. If at all 2/3rd of the causeway belong to Johore. And the 2/3rd must be the part which ends in Johore Bahru because the border on the Tebrau Straits is the deep water line which runs midway between Singapore and Johore. This must also be the border on the causeway. The northern half of the causeway therefore belong to Malaysia, a sovereign independent nation.///–TDM

    The fact that the bridge ends in the territory of two countries implies that the two parties agreed for the bridge to be established, and consequently they too have to agree with any modification to the bridge, over the length of it. The detail on the expenditures involved in building the bridge is interesting in measuring the rate of inflation compared to 1920, and that modern construction technology helps to reduce the cost of construction, and the inflation of which has lagged behind other sectors.
    It has been said that in international diplomacy the strength of the argument depends on the country’s military and economic power. If the country is willing to risk war, any piece of old record can be used to start an argument.

    ///3. The suggestion that we may not touch the causeway without Singapore’s permission is not part of any agreement with Singapore. What we do to the part of the causeway which is ours is our sovereign right. Not to exercise our sovereign right is akin to not being independent.///–TDM

    There are different ways to settle a dispute, and the civil means is through the court. But there are people who prefer to do it like the kids. They would draw a line on the ground, and dare the other to step on it. Fist fight ensues.

    ///4. Why should we build a bridge to replace the causeway? That part of Johore Bahru where the traffic to and from the causeway meets the traffic going east and west in JB is often jammed. In future as more vehicles go on the roads the jam would certainly get worse.///–TDM

    The jam begins at the end of the causeway. The solution lies in making traffic flow after the end of the causeway, and traffic planners should be able to do a good job without dismantling the causeway.

    ///5. The bridge will join the elevated road to and from the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex) leaving the traffic east and west to flow freely.///–TDM

    The CIQ was planned and designed with the bridge in mind. Now the CIQ is used to justify the bridge. Had the CIQ been built to serve the causeway, the design and location would be different. The argument seems to be based on the strength that the nose must be below the eyes, and that the location of the CIQ is God given.

    ///6. Besides the traffic problem, the water in the straits is stagnant. If the causeway is opened up there would be constant flow of water in both direction, thus flushing out the water in the strait.///– TDM

    If the flow had been on both directions, the water would remain stagnant. There are provisions to pump water across the causeway. The issue of water flow attracted no criticism since 1924 when the causeway was built. It has now become the issue to support the desire to remove the causeway.

    ///7. Without the causeway boats and yachts can sail in either direction. Transport of goods and people between Pasir Gudang Port to Tanjung Pelepas Port would be facilitated. This would be good for the growth of both ports – something which perhaps Singapore would not like to see./// TDM

    It is interesting to learn that the government has built two ports of less than 60 kilometres apart so that goods can be transported between the two ports by sea. If the growth of the two ports depends on movements of goods between them, it would be easier to doctor statistics. The argument in fact proves that one of the ports is not needed. Malaysia government are wont on building white elephants, and now they are utilised to argue the demolishment of the causeway.

    ///8. The free movements of boats along the strait would itself create business. The bridge which would be wider than the causeway would speed up the flow of traffic. The CIQ was designed to handle this increasingly heavier traffic.///– TDM

    There had also been suggestion that the ‘crooked bridge to nowhere’ should be built, ending with restaurants, similar to the earlier conception of the second Penang bridge. That creates business too without removing the causeway, and the history.
    If the traffic is indeed for going to nowhere, the flow would increase if the bridge is wide. But if the traffic intends to join the part of the causeway, the flow would be determined by the width of the causeway, no matter how wide the crooked bridge is. Certainly, there can be more lanes queuing up to turn to fewer lanes at the causeway. The speed of traffic can certainly be speeded up along the bridge, but not the flow.

    ///9. As to why it was not built during my 22 years, the answer is that the need for a bridge became clear towards the end of my term. In any case I had approved it before I stepped down. The work was started during my time. Had Abdullah not stopped it, the bridge would have been almost complete by now.///– TDM

    The trouble was that TDM thought he is always right, and that is why he started the crooked bridge project and he was hoping to see his successor get into international dispute with the project he initiated. AAB was smart not having fallen into the trap.
    TDM also started the teaching of mathematics and science in primary school in English, just before he left. The Minister of Education confirmed recently that there were marginal 2-3 % improvement, after billions of ringgit were spent, a hundreds thousand students or more and umpteen thousands of teachers slogged it out. The standard of English of the students would have improved tremendously if the decision was to teach more hours of English in primary school.

    ///10. Since Singapore would only agree to a straight bridge if one billion cubic metre of sand is sold to it; since the people of Johore are against selling sand and allowing Singapore fighter planes to practice over Johore, the option for the Malaysian Government is to revert to building the scenic bridge in our territorial waters. This is the sovereign right of an independent nation.///–TDM

    If Malaysia was willing to sell its non-renewable oil resources to the world, there is no reason why she cannot sell sand which is available in abundance. Of course no country other than Singapore would ever want to buy sand from Malaysia. Malaysia has only equated sand with land beginning from 1997 when TDM decided to take personal revenge against leaders of Singapore. For his personal hatred, and having to settle a personal score against Singapore leaders, he has prevented the country from earning billions dollars of foreign exchange. What is more damaging to the country is his ability to convert the mindset of the people to go along with his hatred for Singapore, and to believe that sand is land. He had the same achievement in making race sensitive through is racist teaching.

    ///11. Instead Tun Abdullah decided not only not to build the bridge but to stop negotiating over all the other issues including the refusal of Singapore to release CPF (Central Provident Fund) contribution of Peninsular Malaysians, the railway land, the 3 sen per 1,000 gallons which Singapore pays for raw water (Malacca pays 30 sen per 1,000 gallons).///–TDM

    There was a provision for a review of the price of water, as allowed in the agreement, to be made in the 1980s. The government of Malaysia did not take it up. Legally, Malaysia has waived the right to negotiate the price of water, just like Chin Peng has forgone his right to return to Malaysia, he is and asking the court to rule.

    Singapore agreed provisionally to 60 cents per 1,000 gallons during negotiation which she was not obliged to. But Malaysia then asked for 8 ringgit, quoting what Hong Kong paid to China. Singapore chose to withdraw the offer to buy friendship.

    The railway land in Singapore was an issue covered in the POA signed between Daim and LKY. It is not something for AAB to open up again; what is needed is to have that POA implemented, in full.

    ///12. All these issues are in Singapore’s favour and not negotiating better terms because Johore people refuse to sell sand is like cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face. We are the losers. I think it is a very stupid way of punishing Singapore. Or is it the intention to punish Johore people for not agreeing to sell sand (somebody is bound to make a huge amount of money) and rejecting the honour of having Singapore warplanes practicing aerial combat and bombing over Johore.///–TDM

    AP scheme could have been a source of income for national coffers, but UMNO leaders chose to use it for money politics. The sale of sand can go to the treasury rather than to private persons.
    Johore people should know that cooperation between two parties means that the interests of both parties should be taken into account. It was stupid to equate sand with land, and people are stupid to accept that, they should also accept that traffic jam is a matte of time which they get it free without paying as tomorrow is another day.

    There should be no military exercise with any other country since we do not know when they would carry out bombing over Johore gained through the exercise. If Malaysia can make life difficult for other, we should expect the same.

  16. #16 by chengho on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 6:07 pm

    uncle Kit,
    i agreed with you…

  17. #17 by Loh on Friday, 26 June 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Sorry, off-topic

    I like to make corrections on what I said wrongly in old postings.

    PAS joined BN in 1973, and Gerakan joined BN in 1974. The threat by Razak that the parliament would not reconvene if he could not amend the constituion did not force the opposition parties joining BN.

    Parliamentary election in Sabah and Sarawak in 1969 was conducted over a period from May 10, and it was suspended on 15 May 1969 after the state of emergency was declared. When parliamentary election was held, or resumed in September 1971 Tun Mustapha used his power of arrest derived from the emergency to prevent opposition candidates standing and he delivered to BN all 16 parliamentary seats for Sabah returned unopposed. BN then had the 2/3 majority to amend the constitution.

    Sabah has been exploited despite what BN has gained from her votes. It might be pay-back time for the sins committed for having put Mustapha as CM.

  18. #18 by imranj78 on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 12:16 am

    I agree that Omar Ong has no place in PETRONAS’ Board of Director because of his past history of low integrity. Besides, what does he know about the oil and gas industry?

    Nevertheless, I disagree with you on the matter of making PETRONAS report to the parliament. PETRONAS should be accountable to the government via the Finance Ministry as it is today. If the MPs want to scrutinize PETRONAS’ performance, they can easily view PETRONAS’ annual report which is readily available on the internet. Making PETRONAS report to a bunch of MPs who do not know heads nor tails with regards to the oil industry will be disastrous (just simply look at Lim Guan Eng’s ignorant comments on the gas shortage issue and you will see how the politicians know nothing about the oil industry). PETRONAS has done very well so far because it is free from political and government interference and thus, has been run as a business entity.

  19. #19 by House Victim on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 12:49 am

    1. As Head of those Ministers, PM should provide the Parliament the Task he has laid out on Each & Every Minister for 2009. This will give a Check and Balance for him and the Parliament to see what should be performed from each Ministry under those Minister.

    2. Can you inquire IF Public Complain Bureau under the Prime Minister Department had been Closed?
    A Police Report was submitted on their Request to their officer. But, no confirmation of Receipt or any Feedback after numerous reminders to the Officer, the Director of the Department concerned and the Director General of PCB.

    3. IF A BUREAU directly under his Department can KEEP SILENT FOR MONTHS. Then, can we expect others to work?

    4. Their Client Chapter:
    “To manage and resolve public complaints within 15 working days.”

  20. #20 by monsterball on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 3:09 am

    UMNO have no more cows with brains.
    Omar is needed and UMNO is the law.
    Forget the past..let move on…applies to all crooks in their attitudes.
    UMNO is in desperate position….to get proper and well qualified people to manage things.
    All good…well qualified personalities do not wish to b controlled by Najib and his cabinet…love UMNO..but say far far away from Najib and his band of robbers.

  21. #21 by lopez on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 9:51 am

    MArcos regime in the making…

  22. #22 by House Victim on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 4:19 pm

    As Head of the Cabinet – the Ministers, his statement should answer

    1. Did Parliament approved PKFZ to an amount (with details of variations of project from PKA via MOT) such that it could cover 4.632b of Soft Loan to PKA?

    2. Did MOF seek the approval of 4.632b soft loan from the Parliament with all the details?

  23. #23 by lopez on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 9:47 pm

    you guys are dreaming, you dont know what they can do at petronas?

    have money will travel, you are nothing….these guys are the elite in the glc and corporate world.
    with so much at stake you think you move and push them around…dream on….

    now that you caught one of them, n\better skin this one before he gets immuned or enuchnised.

  24. #24 by monsterball on Saturday, 27 June 2009 - 11:02 pm

    Imranj78 is talking kok saying Petronas is free from UMNO or politics.
    Useless to bring out so many occasions showing Petronas is a racialist company…exactly like UMNO.
    Lim Eng Guan…and Malaysians need not be experts in oil technology….but when things are not doing good in Penang due to oil…LEG…has every right to shout…on behalf of Penang people.
    Imaran78 is such a racialist and pro UMNO supporter….he cannot see sensible and logical criticisms as great job done by LEG for all Malaysians in Penang. He thinks he is smarter than LEG…that Imaraj78 duffer.

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