Without Aramco Petronas could not guarantee Pengerang jobs?

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A Malaysian Minister added more pain to the already trolling criticism over whether Malaysia’s oil giant Petronas was forced to enter a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Aramco or not when he blasted an opposition MP on the issue.

In his statement, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan, known for speaking out his mind, seemed to suggest that Petronas could not fulfil its job creation target without the Aramco deal.

In fact, he said the opposition MP should be grateful as the Aramco agreement would generate thousands of jobs for Malaysians.

The Star published an article saying Rafizi should be grateful for the jobs to be created, but did not directly quote the Minister.

Instead it said: “Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli should be grateful that oil giant Saudi Aramco has to invest in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

“The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – who was involved in the negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the US$7bil investment deal – said the agreement would generate thousands of jobs for Malaysians.”

Which clearly suggests that without the Aramco deal, Petronas was in danger of not being able to fulfil its jobs creation targets.

The Minister who said last month he was involved in the negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the US$7bil investment deal – said the agreement would generate thousands of jobs for Malaysians.

First of all, his involvement in the negotiations is seen as peer pressure on both Aramco and Petronas to go to bed together, said the Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli in a statement reported by The Independent last week.

However, this time, Abdul Rahman said: “As many as 60,000 jobs will be created at the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Johor. If Rafizi says this is unfair, I do not know what to say anymore”.

In fact, the Saudi’s joined Petronas as a development partner, not as a job creating partner.

Petronas, the initiator of the project had said since the beginning that the project will create jobs for Malaysians and it had earmarked the funds for the entire project.

In a media briefing in February, Petronas’ chief Wan Zulkiflee rebuffed speculation the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) would stagnate due to the absence of foreign investors.

He said Rapid’s overall development cost had been provided by Petronas when the project was initiated.

“We at Petronas provide fully (the financial cost) for our projects. We do not start a project and later find partners (to put in money),” he said.

During the briefing, he also said Petronas was, however, open to the possible partnership from participants with advanced technologies that could advance the state-owned oil company’s interest and reduce its capital requirements.

Rafizi, also PKR vice-president, reportedly questioned Abdul Rahman’s role in the agreement which led to Petronas paying more for Saudi crude oil.