KOTA KINABALU 7th August, 2011: National oil company, Petronas, has been urged to do more for Sabah.
Making the call yesterday, two state leaders said it is incumbent of Petronas to intensify its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help the hardcore poor in Sabah.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said: “With the huge profit it makes from oil and gas in Sabah, it is incumbent on the company to spend more to help the state and its people.”
Masidi, who is the minister in charge of education, suggested that Petronas should build rural hostels for students who live far away from their schools.
“If hostels are provided, then many rural students will be saved from a walk to school which could take a couple of hours.
“I believe Sabah is still lagging behind in terms of education development and so this is one area which Petronas can assist,” he said.
Masidi also said Sabahans expect the oil company to contribute more to Sabah to make up for the meagre oil royalty paid to the state.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Jahid Jahim said Petronas, which has a well-established presence and contributed to the development of Sabah since in 1975, could probably complement the government’s efforts to provide housing for the poor.
“There are still hardcore poor in Sabah and I believe Petronas, through its CSR programme, can help fast-track a solution to address hardcore poverty.
“We hope that Petronas can seriously look into this,” he said.
Jahid also urged Petronas to give more opportunities for locals to undergo training courses for the oil and gas industry in the state.
He said he was particularly happy with the participation of Sabahans in the oil business, particularly Petronas retail (petrol) stations and its transportation services.
“All of those involved in Petronas retail stations are local Sabahans.
"Obviously, Petronas' commercial presence helps provide business opportunities for the people in Sabah," he added, in elaborating on the contribution of the national oil company towards improving the quality of life of Sabahans.