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Don't ask Petronas how profits used, ask...

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Reveal accounts, not financial records, Petronas told .

It is whimsically funny to hear rants and complaints from certain quarters of our opinion leaders on making Petronas accountable presumably for not doing its ‘part’ in preventing the recent massive fuel price hike.

Some, who obviously fail to understand basic tenets of Economics 101, ridiculously want Petronas to have its profits shared with the oil consumers around the nation, as if manna and salwa have been descending from the heavens as paychecks for Petronas staff, and as if an Armageddon is so imminent that we have no future generations to leave our legacy to and must plough all available resources to fit our own comfort-zone bunkers.

Petronas has been one of few very successful state-owned oil companies in the world to be listed in the world’s ‘new’ seven sisters, which Financial Times says has recently replaced the ‘old’ seven sisters (now reduced to ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron due to tough global competition) despite our meager national oil and gas reserve size.

For those who think Petronas has been unscrupulous in amassing countless digits of wealth at the expense of the rakyat (who are the real stakeholders of the national oil resources), go ahead and find better oil and gas administrators that you can trust to protect our collective interests.

The rakyat should not be fooled by certain opinion leaders that Petronas’ top administrators are leading a luxurious life not commensurate with their contributions.

The remuneration package for all levels of Petronas staff, from the clerk right up to the CEO, is a fraction of what other Fortune 500 multinationals pay. Of course, the BMW 7-series you see parked next to the Twin Towers might seem a bit pompous but I have seen other top executives of smaller-scale GLCs and Malaysian companies driving more luxurious cars. Petronas has private jets? Never heard of that.

Think Petronas is uncaring for not subsidising the rakyat ? The subsidies, bail-outs, Formula One sponsorship (excluding infrastructure and events) and tender distributions are all part and parcel of the national economic policies created by the government - not Petronas staff members or its top executives.

A great portion of the oil income windfall goes into government’s coffers in the forms of taxes and royalties. The way our politicians (especially those from the government) distort the issue to make it seem that Petronas executives have a say in how the government distributes its oil windfall resources (the RTM interview with the Petronas CEO refers) is an insult to the intelligence of all hard-working Petronas staff.

To sum up, Petronas has been trusted by a government elected by the people who own our oil and gas resources, to develop and add value to those resources.

Petronas has been doing more than that - building global value and maximising activities to generate more profit for the benefit of all present and future beneficiaries of our shrinking national oil and gas reserves.

How the profits are being used? Ask the ones you elected in the general elections.