Rabu, 20 Januari 2010

Dr M indicates Petronas shouldn't be helmed by politician


Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has indirectly indicated that the top post at the national oil firm should not be given to a politician.

"Some of the top politicians (in the country) have been messing with the economy. Do you want them to make a mess of Petronas (too)?" he said.

The former prime minister was reponding to speculations that the contract of Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican would not be extended and that a politician would be hired as his replacement.

Dr Mahathir was speaking at a media conference after witnessing the signing of an exclusive lubricant deal between Petronas and Proton Holdings Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also present was Hassan, who said his contract extension "should be directed at the government".

On the government's target to become a high income nation, Dr Mahathir said Malaysians must brace themselves for more expensive products and services once the status is attained.

"People must accept that they must pay more for whatever they want to buy. At the same time, they will be able to buy more things because their wages will be high."

He admitted that Malaysia is no longer a cheap country to operate in compared with China, Thailand and Vietnam. Hence, it has to add value to its various industries, including manufacturing.

Later, Hassan confirmed that Petronas has been invited by the government of Timor Leste to help develop its offshore gas resources but had not made a decision.

"There have been reports that the government of Timor Leste is inviting us to participate in the development of gas resources in the Timor Sea. Yes, we have been in discussions with them.

"We have been advising them on how the gas there should be developed. They have approached us to see whether we are interested to participate. We are studying it," said Hassan, who is also Petronas chairman.

Hassan's remarks follow reports that Dili had rejected a development proposal from a consortium led by Australian energy group Woodside Petroleum for the Sunrise gas field last week.

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