• YB Wong Chen

Make Petronas Accountable to Parliament

MEDIA STATEMENT: MAKE PETRONAS ACCOUNTABLE TO PARLIAMENT On my table this morning, was a written reply to my question on Petronas. On the matter of Petronas, I asked if the PN government will amend laws to make Petronas fully accountable to Parliament and curb the excessive prime minister powers. The answer I received, reminded me of an answer from the "Yes, Minister" TV series. This reply starts by saying it believes in the principles of good governance. Then it goes on to say the Petronas is managed by excellent senior executives and its directors are equally excellent and all are committed to good corporate governance with the highest level of integrity. So far so good. Then the PN government goes to say that it will in fact NOT amend the laws to make Petronas accountable to Parliament.

I do not doubt the quality and experience of the executives and directors, and overall, I believe Petronas is well managed but it can be so much better if there were better checks and balance and zero political interference.

Time and time again, we know that Petronas has been asked to do "national service". Some of these national duties, may have been unavoidable and necessary, but some are the result of poor fiscal discipline and spendthrift attitudes of the cabinet. When the latter happens, Petronas should be accountable to Parliament and in fact, Members of Parliament should defend Petronas from any feckless request for funds from the cabinet.

This is the basis of my question to curb the prime minister's excessive powers, and to make Petronas fully accountable to Parliament. Petronas does not belong to the prime minister and as such should not be accountable to the prime minister alone. An amendment to the Petroleum Development Act is even more necessary now, when Petronas and all other oil companies are facing challenging oil prices. YB Wong Chen

Member of Parliament of Subang 6 August 2020