‘Where is the promised non-Muslim Dayak in Petros board?’

Sarawak DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) publicity secretary Abdul Aziz Isa

KUCHING, Dec 4: The delay in naming a non-Muslim Dayak to the board of directors (BoD) of the state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) 100 days after the state government announced it would do so, has been called into question.

Sarawak DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) publicity secretary Abdul Aziz Isa who is also special assistant to state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman YB Chong Chieng Jen, in a press statement today, asked why it was so difficult for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to name at least one non-Muslim Dayak as a Petros board member.

“Why does it take so long to look for a professional and educated non-Muslim Dayak? Not only have the Dayak majority been sidelined in major appointments but also the long-delayed appointment has shown the Dayaks have been forgotten by our state leaders.”

He said it was unacceptable to delay the announcement as the state is not lacking in professional, educated and talented Dayaks to sit in the Petros board of directors, which was reflected in the number of Dayaks employed by big oil and gas companies such as Shell and Petronas all over the world, with some even holding managerial positions in those companies.

“It seems that Abang Jo is not serious in bringing fairness and justice to the Dayak community. It has been a well-known fact that despite being the majority in the State, the Dayaks have been systematically discriminated by the state government policies at almost every level. Their contributions seem to be denied by the state government and the composition in Petrol BoD proves to be just another case of lopsided representation and racial imbalance. Once again, the majority is being grossly under-represented while the minority is being over-represented.”

He said that despite Sarawak being home to various ethnic groups, this diversity is not reflected in the state civil service, statutory bodies or government-linked companies (GLCs).

“The state government has no intention in making right the lopsided racial composition of workers in the civil service, statutory bodies and GLCs,” he added.

“As such, I urge the state government, particularly the Chief Minister not to delay the inclusion of non-Muslim Dayaks in Petros BoD as doing so would shield the state government from accusations of discrimination and marginalisation of the Dayaks as the major ethnic group (in Sarawak).”

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz also claimed that when Abang Johari announced the list of Petros board members on Aug 25, on the same day he had released a press statement calling for the state to name at least one non-Muslim Dayak to sit in the BoD.

“If I didn’t make the call and if I didn’t question the absence of non-Muslim Dayaks in Petros BoD, I dont think the Chief Minister will give a thought to include one.

“It was only after my press statement went viral on social media that Abang Johari decided to name a non-Muslim Dayak to the BoD. However, instead of making the announcement by himself, he did it through his deputy, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas as damage control. Since then, the public, especially the Dayaks see him as sidelining the Dayaks in major almost all appointments,” he alleged. — DayakDaily