Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman took Petronas to task Saturday, saying that the national oil corporation did not give opportunities to the Bumiputera community in Sabah.
He said the only thing to show that Petronas was open to working with local companies was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) it signed with the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) with regard to its oil and gas project in Kimanis.
Even then, it was not good enough as the MOU was not legally binding and therefore not enforceable, he said when opening the DPMM Sabah chapter's 13th annual general meeting here Saturday.
Anifah noted that Petronas, upon embarking on the multi-billion ringgit project, had sidelined local companies and engaged concessionaries from outside Sabah.
The Kimanis member of Parliament said he was especially disappointed that Petronas had neglected to fulfil the conditions relating to the 250 acres of native land surrendered to the company by the villagers of Kg Takis for the development of the oil and gas terminal.
"I asked them to build a technical school where our children can be trained in skills relevant to the industry. I asked them to built plants in Kimanis for downstream activities.
"If they are sincere and want to help the state's economy then they should make their presence beneficial to Sabahans. Otherwise, we have to restrict their presence," he said.
He also expressed regret that Bintulu, rather than Sabah, would be the destination for oil and gas.
"What have we got?" he asked. - Bernama