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Sabahans shortchanged by oil, gas firms
Published on: Sunday, January 09, 2022
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Oil rig: Capable Sabahans not considered for top positions. Sarawak does not tolerate it and is strict on work permits for P’sula Malaysians.
I APPLAUD leaders who spoke against the unfair treatment and budget allocation to Sabah and Sarawak. 

I am also glad to hear that Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun had met with the President/CEO of Petronas to discuss the CCA. The formation of SMJ as announced by the Chief Minister is also a welcome note and gives hopes to many unemployed Sabahans. 

However, the ministers should also discuss the employment of Sabahans where Petronas has been biased in filling up vacancies with majority from Peninsula Malaysia particularly for the top positions. 

If they do internal checks, they will find that most of the top positions at managerial, senior executive and executive level are filled by non Sabahans. 

Even at internship level, Petronas has a ratio of recruiting mostly from Semenanjung. 

It is a fact that it is not easy for Sabahans to secure a job in the oil and gas companies operating in Sabah. This has been a long standing problem. 

Malaya keeps on sending its people to fill up these positions while the “Kulikang” positions are given to Sabahans. It is not that we do not have qualified people. Many of our graduates are left without jobs. 

Afterall, most graduates from University Technology Petronas are non-Sabahans. Is there a reason why Sabahans are considered not qualified to enter UTP and job opportunities in Petronas?. 

This situation is very glaring in the Oil and Gas sectors. These giant oil and gas companies are employing people from Semenanjung and depriving our local people job opportunities. 

Very often, when there is a retrenchment scheme, our locals are the first to get the boot. This is not fair. The ministers should question the unfair treatment in these companies like Petronas, Hibiscus, Shell, KPOC, Samur, etc. 

Ask for their Organisation Chart and the ratio between Sabahans and West Malaysians working in these companies. Sabahans complain that they have difficulty in applying for positions in these companies as if they are exclusively for West Malaysians. 

This is not surprising because the HR recruitment people are West Malaysians and reside in KL so priority  is given to them. 

Where is the fairness and where is the “Sabah jobs for Sabahans” promise? At least, the Sarawak Government is stricter in terms of Sarawakians occupying positions in these companies. 

Their CM office scrutinise applications for work permits. Time and time again, we complained but Sabah has changed many governments already and still did nothing. Looks like Sarawak cares more about its people but not Sabah.

Our locals are equally qualified and experienced enough to fill up some of the positions in these companies. Unfortunately, they can only get job opportunities in small medium companies and small construction firms. 

Even the contractors and sub-contractors to these companies are employing non sabahans. Our locals are only given contract jobs and some of them have been on contract for many years and their salaries have never increased. 

Semenanjung Malaysians are given permanent position status in Sabah oil and gas sectors and they receive lucrative allowances for housing, transport and hardship while Sabahans who are transferred to West Malaysia are given low allowances or nothing at all. 

These oil and gas companies are saying these positions require special skills. 

We are not dumb and stupid. Positions in the HR, Finance, procurement, HSE, administration, etc, are filled by West Malaysians. Are there no Sabahan who can do such work? 

I know many locals who are qualified in these fields. One of the oil and gas companies called KPOC and Hibiscus in Sabah have their only sole assets operating in Sabah waters but the majority of workers are from Semenanjung!

They even have expatriates working in the company. These  companies have their head office in KLCC and if our government care to check, there is not even one Sabahan working there. 

This is an open challenge to the State  Government, Chief Minister and our dear ministers concerned. Once and for all, do some detailed investigations and probe deeper as to why these companies are not employing Sabahans. 

They are good in giving reasons to portray that there are indeed some locals occupying positions but don’t just simply accept their “lies”. 

We, the rakyat of Sabah have suffered enough. We demand the right to these job opportunities. This is not only for us but for our future generations as well. 

Must we secede from Malaysia in order to  have a right to these jobs? We no longer want to be step children when it comes to job opportunities. Two of my children lost their jobs and their positions were filled by West Malaysians. 

There are other examples where Sabahans were retrenched from these oil and gas companies and every time they go, the positions are filled by non-Sabahans. 

We must be firm like Sarawak and not keep quiet while our rights are stolen right before our eyes.

I appeal to the GRS government to please do something about this before you ask for our votes in the coming elections. 

Anak Sabah. 





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