MIRI: The state government is urged to review the hiring policy of oil and gas companies operating in Sarawak to make sure they include Sarawakians.
Speaking at a press conference here yesterday, president of Dayak Think Tank group (DTTG) Elias Lipi Mat said the rights of local people to work in the oil and gas industry could not be underestimated because many of the industry workers were most sought after for their experience and expertise. The industry here is after all over 100 years old.
Elias said this in reference to nine individuals who were dismissed without valid reasons by the management of an oil and gas company operating in Bintulu. They sought help from DTTG.
“We (Dayak NGOs in Sarawak) are disappointed by the company’s management, and we urge the Sarawak government to look at this issue seriously, and take appropriate action against the company. We also urge the Sarawak government to take heed of proposal from the Dayak NGOs to set up policy guidelines for oil and gas companies operating in Sarawak in order to prioritise the local people for employment to the tune of 70 per cent at management or operations level, which must consist of every ethnic group in the state.
“It’s not that we don’t like workers from Peninsular Malaysia, but everybody must have a fair share of the (job) opportunity,” he said.
Elias also suggested that the oil and gas companies operating here must set up operations offices in Sarawak to make it easier for local talents to apply for jobs.
As it is now, most vacancies are filled up by workers from Peninsular Malaysia.
“We are hoping that the Sarawak government act immediately to address the plight of the nine individuals,” he said.
Representative from Sarawak Oil and Gas Workers Association, president of Iban Sarawak Association (PAIS) Samuel Suring, and Terabai Menua vice-president Ugik Jalit were among those present at the press conference.