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PKR told to state stand on S'wak Petronas target for locals

Published:  |  Modified:

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen wants PKR to state its party stand on his proposal to bar peninsular Malaysians from working as the state's Petronas executives until local composition of its management staff increases to 70 percent.

Chong said he took note PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli’s disagreement with the proposal, but questioned whether the national and state level PKR shared the same stand.

“Given that Rafizi is PKR’s national vice-president and also secretary-general, and that he has spoken against such a target, it is thus incumbent upon both PKR national and Sarawak to state its party’s policy on this issue,” Chong said in a statement today.

The Bandar Kuching MP said his proposal had nothing to do with regionalist politics, nor did it have anything to do with discrimination against non-Sarawakians.

“It is about giving local Sarawakians more job opportunities in our own land and fairer enjoyment of the natural resources of Sarawak.

“If Rafizi does not understand the meaning of this 70 percent target, I hope his other colleagues in PKR will,” he said.

'Righting a wrong'

Meanwhile, claiming that discriminatory policies had been implemented in the state by BN with the consent of its Sarawak chapter, Chong said the setting of the 70 percent target was to “right a wrong”.

He therefore vowed to continue to push for fairer deals for the state, of which the target is one.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa state assemblyperson, added that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng at a meeting last night also endorsed the proposal.

He said Sarawak DAP will continue to urge BN to adopt this 70 percent policy and temporarily withhold non-Sarawakian Petronas staff's work permits, as a "means to an end, to achieve this target".

Chong's proposal came after Sarawak-based think-tank Suara Petroleum Group expressed concern that Sarawakians were now being retrenched from Petronas Sarawak as part of the national oil company's restructuring exercise.

Rafizi responded saying while he understood the discontent, blaming Petronas would not solve the root of the problem, which is BN's unfair policies towards Sarawak.

Quotas, he argued, would be counterproductive to the Sarawak staff as they would be limiting themselves to experience within the state, rather than enjoying the broad opportunities across the Petronas group.

He said ultimately, such policies would only put the Sarawak staff on the losing end in the long term.

Speaking from his 10-year experience working with the national oil company, Rafizi said the scope of the Sarawak operations was limited, and a quota system would limit their career advancement and vertical and horizontal mobility.

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