Monday, 15 September 2014

Peaceful protest on oil and gas issues

Sarawak wants share in the oil and gas industry.

KUCHING: Taking their cue from Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s recent statement on the oil and gas industry (O&G), that “we cannot stand and stare”, the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (Sapa) will hold a peaceful protest on the oil and gas issues in Miri on Sept 15, a day before Malaysia Day.

The protesters want Sarawak to get a share of the cake from Petronas and the federal government .This is expected to help reverse the current status of Sarawak being subjugated, exploited and dirt poor.

“Independence should mean ownership and management of Sarawak’s resources and wealth,” said Sapa President Lina Soo who will be leading the protest.

She outlined the objectives of the protest which will be presented to the CEOs of the MNCs in Miri:

to demand that O&G contracts be prioritised to Sarawak companies who fulfill the criteria over West Malaysia and foreign companies;

to demand for more jobs and scholarships for Sarawakians from the industry; and to demand that Sarawak be given a stake in Petronas.

Soo claims that Petronas and Shell are at the moment sidelining Sarawak companies when awarding contracts and favouring those from the peninsular and abroad.

It’s the same story when it comes to employment and career prospects in the industry, added Soo. “Many of our people leave oil-rich Sarawak to escape the discrimination and seek employment overseas.”

She noted that the industry has been exploiting the oil and gas resources for the past 40 years, to the tune of RM50 billion to 80 billion a year, and yet no Sarawakian has ever been appointed to the Petronas Board of Directors.

Bintulu, stressed Soo, was an affront to Sarawakians since it has become a little West Malaysia over the years.

“The senior employees in the O&G industry are all from the peninsular,” said Soo.

She urged the people of Miri to come forward and support the protest.

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