We are not at loggerheads with Muhyiddin, says Petronas

By John Isaac

PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is not at loggerheads with the Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) board, the company clarified.

In a statement made available yesterday, it refuted the news report by international news agency Reuters, which claimed otherwise.

Petronas described the news report by the agency as ‘speculative reporting’ at best and “without any basis whatsoever”.

“Petronas would like to categorically refute the report by Reuters on June 26, 2020 headlined: ‘Malaysian energy giant’s board at odds with PM over payment to Sarawak state’.

“The alleged conflict between the prime minister, Petronas and its shareholder is mere speculative reporting without any basis whatsoever,” the statement read as reported by Sarawak Tribune.

The corporation reiterated that in line with the joint statement issued on May 8 with the Sarawak government, the two parties are currently in negotiations to achieve appropriate commercial resolution.

“We remain committed in working closely with our Sarawak counterparts and our stakeholders to reach the best outcome on this matter.

“Our aim is to achieve a resolution that will lead to a more stable and conducive business and investment environment for the oil and gas industry.

“This in which will be especially important given current market challenges,” Petronas said.

In the Reuters report, it claimed that Petronas management is trying to convince Muhyiddin to block the planned tax settlement with Sarawak.

The report quoted sources as saying that Muhyiddin’s decisions have big implications for Petronas and the national budget.

This is as well as setting a bad precedent, encouraging other oil and gas rich states to make similar demands.