MIRI: Miri should be made the centre of oil and gas industry in the country because it is the birth place of the industry over 100 years ago.
Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin said it was high time Petronas acknowledged this fact and this was among issues that had to be addressed by the oil and gas company in order to be more practical.
“Sarawakians have the longest experience in the oil and gas industry in Malaysia; having been in the industry for over 100 years. This is a fact. Petronas must recognise the fact that the oil and gas industry started in Sarawak in 1910.
“The industry started in Miri, so it is only logical that Petronas gives more attention and focus on oil and gas development in Sarawak,” he said during the launch of Oceancare Corporation Sdn Bhd’s (OCSB) Rope Access Training Centre in Piasau yesterday.
Its president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining was also present.
Lee went on to say that Miri’s oil and gas industry started in 1910 where as Petronas was only born in the late 70s, and because of this Sarawakians were very experienced in the industry.
“Whether they (Petronas) like it or not, Sarawak is the home of oil and gas industry. We have so many Sarawakians working in the industry all over the world. Many families even have five generations working in the industry,” he said.
Lee said Petronas needed to re-strategise and make Miri its training centre, instead of having to send their workers to train outside Malaysia or in Kerteh, Terengganu.
He added that Miri started in the industry ahead of Petronas, therefore Petronas should set up its training centre here to cater for people in Sarawak, rather than relying on foreign manpower.
“Our people can do just as well if given the opportunities. In fact, there are many skilful Sarawakians working in the oil and gas industry all over the world. Some work in Africa and Norway. These Sarawakians work in all the big companies overseas, so why don’t Petronas bring them back to work here.”
Touching on OCSB training centre, Lee praised the effort of its president in setting up the centre, which is also a member International Rope Access Association.
He said this was quite an achievement for a local company.
“With the availability of this training centre, we want to see more Sarawakians upgrading their skills so that we can play more important roles in the oil and gas industry.
“Now that Oceancare has this training centre, Petronas can also send their staff here for training instead of doing it in Kuala Lumpur or Kerteh.
“I also want Petronas to set up its technical training centre in Miri so that more Sarawakians can learn and improve their skill, and to contribute more to the oil and gas industry.”
Lee also urged all local companies to tell the state government about any problem they faced with Petronas without worrying that it might cancel their contract.
“Don’t worry. It is high time we don’t get bullied any more and that we be given a fair opportunity,” he said.