When politics weighs on Malaysia’s only Fortune 500 company


Dateline 2020-06-29, The Edge:

IT must have been a difficult decision for Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to back-track and stop contesting in court the petroleum product sales tax imposed by Sarawak last year.

The national oil firm is slated to pay more to the state when it has just halted exploration and slashed 2020 capex and opex in the face of volatile oil and gas prices.

Benefitting from the decision are the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) political coalition, which can ride on the success of getting a higher share of oil money, and indirectly, Petronas’ sole shareholder — the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, which may have to face a no-confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat next month.

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