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Think-tank dismayed S'wak Petronas hiring less locals

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A state-founded think-tank is reportedly concerned with Sarawak Petronas replacing locals with Peninsular staff, following the retrenchment of 13 experienced Sarawakian staff.

Borneo Post today reported Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) president Hamin Yusuf complaining about the latest move, involving abolishing 29 permanent positions, which he calls a "quick fix" that is not helping the state's workforce.

The move is part of a state restructuring exercise that industrial, entrepreneur, trade and investment minister Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan revealed in the last Sarawak assembly sitting.

He said the fact that the retrenched 13 were not retrained into new positions in Petronas Sarawak showed the national oil and gas company was "insincere" in efforts to return more benefits of state oil to the people.

“Petronas’ policy towards the state seems to reflect a lack of sensitivity and sense of reality to the local job market and employment of locals.

“As recently as two months ago, 85 positions in MLNG Bintulu were filled mostly by peninsular Malaysians under the pretext of ‘redeployment’," Borneo Post reported Hamin as saying in a statement last night.

He said these positions were mostly entry-level positions or junior managerial positions that could have easily been given to Sarawakians.

Only 39 percent of management positions and 46 percent of middle management positions in Petronas Sarawak are filled by Sarawakians, he added.

“The majority of senior jobs are also filled by non-Sarawakians and the influx of peninsular Malaysians filling the lower jobs exacerbates the situation for the state,” said Hamin.

To make matters worse, Sarawakian work permit applications are now being outsourced to a third party, he said.

Despite being an oil producer, Sarawak remains one of the poorest states in Malaysia.

Following the BN's landslide win in the May state elections, devolution talks have been initiated with Putrajaya.

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