Monday, June 22, 2009

Petronas: If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It

Hantu Laut

Rumours abound that there will be changes at the top management of Petronas.Tun Dr Mahathir, adviser to Petronas when asked said he has heard so but have no idea who the person is that supposedly will replace Hassan Merican as chairman of Petronas.

News from the grapevine says Syed Hamid Albar is one such possible candidate.Is there a need to make changes when the present man had proven his capabilities and Petronas is probably the best run GLC in the whole country, free of scandal, and for a company coming from a third world is highly respected internationally.

In 2007 Financial Times identified Petronas as one of the 'new seven sisters'.These are accreditation given to the most influential and mainly state-owned national oil and gas companies from countries outside the OECD.Petronas is also on the Fortune 500 list of companies.

There is nothing wrong with Petronas.Nothing is broken.Putting a full-time politician at the top would be inviting disaster.There would be many creepy crawlies waiting at his door to enchant him and tempt him.

Before you do anything silly just think of Pertamina.

How politicians and businessmen run the company into the ground with mounting debts they were unable to pay. At each stage of the transaction chain somebody was getting a cut.
The Indonesian government have to bail out the company. The bail-out doubled Indonesia's foreign debt overnight.The culprit Ibnu Sutowo, probably the most corrupted man on the face of this earth at that time was never punished and his family is now one of the richest in Indonesia.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it.


donplaypuks® said...

I think there is a case for having a non-Exec Chairman and a separate Exec CEO/MD who is answerable to the board of Directors, for Petronas.

There is always a danger in having the same CEO for too long and one who is both Chairman and CEO (as is Merican). One never knows what is being overlooked or covered up as much of Petrons' dealings and operations are shrouded in secrecy.

We have seen disasters and frauds uncovered in huge MNC's like AIG, Worldcom, Enron etc precisely because of this over-reliance on on man and lack of separation of powers and duties.

At the same time, I agree with you that the Chairman's post should not go to a politician, and certainly not Albar. He will bring no business acumen, experience or value with him. His performance at Foreign Affairs (esp. Pedra Blanca) and the home Ministry were unmitigated disasters,

Jobs for the boys, Najib? Plundering Petronas before 2013?

Hantu Laut said...

I agree with you it is better to have two different persons for the two posts.Why must it be a politician?

There are many retired or semi-retired top-notch executives with long experience in business that can contribute better than politicians.

donplaypuks® said...

I've clearly said in para 4 to 'include the politicians OUT'!

And yes, if they headhunt, there are many working and retired M'sians who are highly qualified with relevant experience, to choose and pick from.

Does the PM have the will power?

Anonymous said...

"""""Does the PM have the will power?"""""

I think what you meant to ask was "Does Rosmah want to"

Our PM is hen pecked lah, in more ways than one, even national matters, he has to refer to the porker!!!

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eddy said...

1. Politicians or ex-politicians should never be involved directly in Petronas Management but definitely there is a case to have different people for the post of Chairman and the CEO/MD to ensure transparency and obviously one person namely Hassan Merican should not be needlessly stressed and highly strung by taking up both posts...will cause serious health problem.

2. I propose that the post of Petronas Chairman be reserved for retired Ketua Setiausaha Negaras. KSNs are always the cream of the cream of the Civil Service, knows what they are talking about and will have the respect of all including the Ministers and Board of Directors of Petronas. So how about Tan Sri Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan for Petronas Chairman when he retires soon?