Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin has urged Putrajaya not to choke Petronas, which is seen as the country's cash cow, in a bid to maintain its lavish spending in difficult economic times.
This is amid reports that Petronas was forced to dip into its reserves to pay dividend to the federal government, as falling oil prices had seriously dented its profits.
"Petronas has been Malaysia’s cash cow and sovereign oil fund. We urge the federal government of Malaysia to take a long-term view in milking Petronas.
"Some even regard Petronas as the government’s banker of last resort, providing ready funds in the event of a crisis.
"With the sharp dropping of Ringgit and stock market bleeding red, the economy is very uncertain. Petronas could be the lifeline that saves Malaysia," the PKR lawmaker said in a statement today.
Sim (photo) warned that further draining an already stretched Petronas will impact on the company's investments and hurt its future profits which are essential to support its dividends to the country's coffers.
'Prices to stay low'
He added that global oil prices are expected to stay low throughout 2016 and Petronas' profits are likely to continue shrinking.
"We urge the government to get its finances in order. The days of spending lavishly are over.
"Recent announcement of increasing BN MPs constituency funds from RM1 million to RM5 million and more next year has proven that BN government is still partying when the music has stopped.
"They must now wake up to the challenging economic realities," he said.
Sim also urged Petronas to stand up against any unreasonable payments by the federal government, to continuing pay high dividends in trying times.
It is only wise for Petronas to adhere to its business acumen and not succumb to political pressure.
Petronas is the sovereign oil fund that must survive long enough to ensure the country’s wealth will benefit our future generations," he said.