: The Sarawak wholly-owned oil and gas company or Petros has been officially formed, Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced here last night.
He said all the board members of the company had been appointed, drawn from among Sarawakian professionals, with wide experience in the oil and gas industry and that none of them were politicians.
"Tonight, I want to tell you that we have officially formed our oil company, Petros," he said, to the applause of the crowd, when addressing state ministers, staff members of his ministries and office during an appreciation dinner organised by his office at a leading hotel here, last night.
The chief minister, who was accompanied by his wife, Datin Amar Juma'ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, however, did not reveal the name of the board members, or chairman or CEO of the company.
The formation of Petros is an unprecedented step taken by the state government to enable Sarawak to actively participate in the extraction of oil and gas in Sarawak while still pursuing its request for a 20 per cent royalty from Petronas.
Without naming the candidate, he also said the chief executive officer of the newly-formed Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) had been appointed and that the bank would start its operation soon.
He added all the board members of DBOS were professionals and non-politicians under the chairmanship of Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who is also the state secretary.
On another note, he told the audience steps were also being taken to strengthen the state's human capacity by giving Sarawakians the opportunities to pursue postgraduate studies locally and overseas.
He said Sarawak Foundation, of which he is the chairman, would increase scholarships and loans to Sarawak students who are eligible to be admitted to local as well as foreign universities for postgraduate studies.
"A state research council under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research will be set up to oversee all the future research efforts and how they can benefit the state," he said, adding that he had personally instructed that a research be carried out in collaboration with Swinburne University on prototyping an oil palm fruit harvesting machine.
He thanked all the ministries for their support in the pursuit of new policies, approaches and technologies to transform Sarawak into a digital economy under his leadership.
The reception was held to coincide with Abang Johari's 67th birthday that fell on August 4.