KUCHING, July 22: The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) denies the involvement of Sarawak oil company Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) with an alleged venture in Oman as reported by online news portal Sarawak Report.
“With regards to the content of the article, this office wishes to clarify that Petros, the state oil company and co-regulator of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak, has nothing to do with the venture in Oman as alleged in the article,” CMO said in a statement today, referring to Sarawak Report’s article titled ‘Taib’s Secret Interest in Sarawak’s Petros Venture’ dated July 20, 2018.
CMO said that although there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed but it had lapsed and it was merely an understanding for Petros to assist should the (Oman) company intended to invest in Sarawak.
“At best the article is only a speculation in an attempt to smear Petros’ image for reasons only known to Sarawak Report,” it added.
Sarawak Report, citing a Times of Oman report, claimed that South East Energy Sdn Bhd (SEE) executive vice-president Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib and the Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud were present when a deal was signed between (SEE) with Oman’s Bank Nizwa to raise a USD150 million financing arrangement to enable investment in that country’s massive new oil exploration Block 17 as a key partner in PetroTel Oman.
Since the alleged deal involved Taib and his son, Sarawak Report linked it with a recent MoU between Petros and the Oman oil company.
Sarawak Report further claimed that this defeated the purpose of the Sarawak government’s call for transparency and accountability as Petros still practised cronyism. — DayakDaily