Anwar Tells Petronas: Explain CEO’s Premature Exit

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today called on national oil company Petronas to explain the resignation of its president and CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, whose tenure was supposed to end in April 2021.

Seth Akmal/TMI

In a statement, Anwar said the resignation of Wan Zulkiflee, who served Petronas for four decades, had raised many questions.

He also noted that Petronas had refuted a Reuters report claiming it was linked to the sales tax payment to the Sarawak government.

The report, quoting sources, said Wan Zulkiflee had quit over a disagreement with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over the plan to pay Sarawak some RM2 billion in sales tax for oil extracted from the state.

In May, Petronas announced that it would pay Sarawak the sales tax and drop its appeal against the High Court’s decision ordering it to pay the tax.

Anwar said Petronas was responsible for overseeing one of the country’s natural resources, and that the public wanted “the real story” behind Wan Zulkiflee’s resignation.


“Was there government interference?” he added.

He also noted that S&P Global Ratings had recently downgraded its forecast for Malaysia and Petronas from stable to negative.

He also said that the ratings agency was concerned about government interference in Petronas.

“Instability in Petronas has had a negative impact on the country’s economy, affecting international investors. The opposition coalition demands a full explanation for this issue,” he said, adding that failure to do so would lead to mistrust and uncertainty. – FMT