MALAYSIAN national energy giant Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) today refuted a Reuters article that pointed to alleged conflict between the prime minister, oil firm and its shareholder.
Last Friday, Reuters reported that Petronas board and management have urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to drop a planned tax settlement with Sarawak, quoting three sources close to the company.
The report also said Petronas CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin had resigned in opposition to the deal, and is set to leave the company this month after 37 years.
In a statement today, Petronas said the Reuters report “is mere speculative reporting without any basis whatsoever”.
“Petronas and its shareholders are currently in the midst of negotiations with the Sarawak state government 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.”
This dispute centres on Sarawak’s demand for a sales tax payment. Petronas had filed a challenge in court but lost.
The Kuching High Court ruled against Petronas but the oil firm had filed an appeal at the Federal Court.
A US$470 mil (RM2 bil) settlement was announced last month. But Sarawak officials said they are pursuing nearly US$680 mil.
Last week, Petronas filed to withdraw its Federal Court appeal. – June 29, 2020