Why Petronas accounts are secret

comments     Richard Teo     Published     Updated

Petronas is currently riding on a wave of unprecedented financial success not of its making but due to a stroke of good fortune that blessed all oil-producing countries. The profits generated from this corporation belongs to the government of Malaysia and by extension, to all its citizens.

Since its inception it has not been transparent in its financial reports and its actual financial profile is only privy to a few top government leaders. As citizens, may we ask the government why are they perpetuating such secrecy in their financial and managerial performance? The government is merely a custodian of the nation's resources and every citizen is surely entitled to gauge and evaluate the performance of an entity that generates so much wealth for the nation.

When an entity remains a recluse and its financial records are hidden from public view, the only conclusion we can surmise is that it has a hidden agenda. And what may that secret hidden agenda be?

Petronas is first and foremost guilty of discriminatory practice in the distribution of the nation's wealth. All its petrol stations are given to only Malays to operate. Petronas' offshore contracts are selectively phased to bumiputera companies with strong political connections.

What about government bailouts? Were not the bailouts of Bank Bumiputra, Bank Rakyat, BMF and a host of other bumiputera business interests facilitated by Petronas' funds?

All the above reasons clearly provide us with a clear notion why the government wishes to keep Petronas financial records a secret. This is because it would have a hard time explaining to its citizens why Petronas policies are so discriminatory and skewed towards only one community.

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