Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg officially announced the formation of Sarawak’s wholly-owned oil and gas company Petros at an appreciation dinner organised by his office on Sunday night.
“Tonight (Sunday night), I want to tell you that we have officially formed our oil company, Petros,” the Chief Minister said to the applause of the crowd comprising ministers, assistant ministers and staff members of his ministries and office at a leading hotel here.
He said all the board members of the company had been appointed, revealing that they were drawn from among Sarawakian professionals with wide experience in the oil and gas industry and that none were politicians. The Chief Minister, however, did not reveal the names of the board members, the chairman, or the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.
“The formation of Petros is an unprecedented step taken by the state government to enable Sarawak to actively participate in the extraction of oil and gas in Sarawak while still pursuing its request for a 20 per cent royalty from Petronas (National Petroleum Corporation).”
On the newly-formed Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), Abang Johari said the CEO has been appointed and that the bank would start its operation soon. However, he did not reveal the identity of the CEO.
He pointed out that like Petros, all the board members of DBOS under the chairmanship of Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who is the State Secretary, were professionals and non-politicians.
According to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the Development Bank of Sarawak Bhd (DBOS) was officially incorporated on May 11, 2017 with Sharkawi Alis, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Datu Laura Lee Ngien Hiong, Christopher Adrian and Voon Jan Moi (secretary) as its appointed directors. Its total paid-up capital is RM2 and is solely held by the Capital Development Resources (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (Capital Development Resources).
Meanwhile, Capital Development Resources was incorporated on March 24, 2017, and its appointed directors are Datu Junaidi Reduan, Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Voon Jan Moi (secretary) and Rafidah Nawawi @ Narawie. Its total issue and paid-up capital of RM1 is being held by the state government under the State Financial Secretary.
The Chief Minister also told the audience that steps were being taken to strengthen the state’s human capacity by giving Sarawakians opportunities to pursue postgraduate studies locally and overseas.
He said Sarawak Foundation, of which he is the chairman, would increase scholarships and loans to Sarawak students who are eligible to be admitted to local as well as foreign universities for postgraduate studies.
“And I have requested Sarawak Foundation to give all postgraduate scholarships, particularly PhDs, because giving our children opportunities to study to PhD level will give birth to new researches and researches are important in order to add value to our resources,” he pointed out.
He reiterated that a state research council under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research would be set up to oversee all future research efforts and how they could benefit the state.
He said for a start, he had personally instructed that a research be carried out in collaboration with Swinburne University on prototyping an oil palm fruit harvesting machine that would be equipped with a sensor to automatically determine the ripeness of fruit.
He added that he had also instructed that a research be conducted on the search for protein materials among the state’s rich biodiversity resources that could replace human DNA protein in a joint effort with research being carried by Swinburne University main campus in Australia.
He expressed confidence that the identification of such a protein and its extraction would bear great significance on the continuing search for the treatment of cancer.
He thanked all the ministries for their support in the pursuit of new policies, approaches and technologies to transform Sarawak into a digital economy.
He encouraged other ministries to hold similar gatherings to honour their staff and appreciate their support towards the government’s effort to leapfrog the economy from conventional economy to one that is based on digital technology.
The reception coincided with Abang Johari’s 67th birthday which fell on Aug 4.
Apart from Morshidi, others present included Abang Johari’s wife Datin Amar Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; Minister of Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong; Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; Minister of Integrity and Ombudsman Datuk Talip Zulpilip; Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and assistant ministers.