KUCHING, Nov 22 — The creation of a new gas aggregator position in Sarawak should be regarded as redundant when the same tasks can already be performed by state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), said Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Padungan).
In debating the Distribution of Gas (Amendment) Bill 2023 yesterday, he questioned the need for a new position for the procurement of natural gas from all sources for distribution in the state, as well as managing and maintaining the gas distribution network.
“By creating such a (new) position, is the state government saying Petros has so far failed in the tasks listed that were supposedly part of the responsibility of Petros and are now being assigned to the gas aggregator, which is the position being created by the amendment Bill?” he said.
Chong opined there was no need for a new position when the gas aggregator has overlapping duties with the roles of Petros.
Chong also questioned whether the role of a gas aggregator will accord the state with additional bargaining power when negotiating with the federal government to demand a greater supply of natural gas for the state.
He said the state government has always publicised Sarawak’s achievement in supplying excess energy produced in the state to neighbouring countries, but the amendment Bill seemed to indicate thatthere is insufficient volume of gas for the state’s industrial use.
Chong pointed out that while the Bill would provide greater enforcement power to the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication, there seemed to be a lack of a proper enforcement unit set up within the ministry.
He warned the lack of a proper enforcement unit with sufficient manpower for the whole state would result in the worsening situation of the already rampant abuse of subsidised natural gas products in the state. — Borneo Post Online