Tom Kirkman

My 2016 Exclusive Interview about Petronas with Malaysian Former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir

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/ edit :  you can download a pdf of the interview at the bottom of this comment.  It was a 1 hour interview.

Federal elections were today in Malaysia.

Seems the Opposition won, overturning 60 years by the ruling political party.

So it seems it is finally safe for me to post my exclusive interview from 2 years ago, with former Prime Minister of Malaysia / former Petronas Advisor Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Please see attached.

In 2016, I was granted an exclusive, one on one, face to face interview for 1 hour at his private office in Putrajaya.

At that time, I was the primary Moderator on Oilpro, which at that time was the number 1 Oil & Gas forum on the internet.

However, due to certain remarks by Dr. Mahathir about the current Prime Minister, I was not able to publish this interview, due to Malaysia's strict laws regarding criticism of the Prime Minister.


Enjoy.  It took me 3 months to land this interview back in 2016.

And I've been frustrated for 2 years that it was not safe for me to publish this interview.

Dr Mahathir _ Petronas Interview 2016 _ Tom Kirkman.pdf

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Today's news over here in Malaysia:

After six decades in power, BN falls to ‘Malaysian tsunami’

"EDITORIAL | May 9, 2018. This is the day Malaysians experienced the power of the ballot.

Anger towards the current administration had brought them out in large numbers to cast their votes in the historic 14th general election.

Few Malaysians would have thought they would live to see this day – the defeat of the formidable Umno-led BN/Alliance which had held unbroken power for 61 years.

This is the first time the country has witnessed a change of government since independence from the British in 1957.

Malaysia is probably the only country in the world, apart from a handful of communist states, to have not undergone a regime change. ..."

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For background, here is my Anonymous reporting about the leadup to Malaysia's previous election a number of years ago.  There was a nationwide protest in Malaysia back in 2011, calling for free and fair elections.  The protest calling for free and fair elections was declared illegal by the government : \

After I made a few initial comments as an oldfag Anon at the beginning of the thread, I created the disposable sock name "Yellow Card" for this old 2011 thread.  (Just look for the Yellow color avatar - the color yellow was declared illegal during that time.  Really.)

And maybe you might want to just look at the photos, as my reporting on this was pretty long-winded... my writing style hasn't changed much over the years.

Malaysia protest for a clean election, but ban by our own Malaysia Government

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Thanks for all of this! Very interesting. So what do you think this will mean for stability, and for Petronas?

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29 minutes ago, Kate Turlington said:

Thanks for all of this! Very interesting. So what do you think this will mean for stability, and for Petronas?

In my view, with Dr. Mahathir sworn in last night as the new Prime Minister (again) the rule of law should start returning to Malaysia.

As far as Petronas, I expect to see some changes to senior Petronas management.

As per Malaysia law (Malaysia's Petroleum Development Act 1974 - see attached pdf of this document) Petronas is controlled by the Prime Minister.



The Corporation

(1) Notwithstanding section 22 of the Companies Act 1965, relating to the names of companies, the Corporation shall be styled as the Petroleum Nasional Berhad or in short form PETRONAS.

(2) The Corporation shall be subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister who may from time to time issue such direction as he may deem fit.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Companies Act 1965 or any other written law to the contrary, the direction so issued shall be binding on the Corporation.


In my view, it would be wise for the new Prime Minister to ensure that the senior management of Petronas fully support him, and if they don't, then the Prime Minister should replace them.

Many Malaysians seem to be under the false impression that Petronas belongs to "the Malaysian people".  Totally incorrect.

The sole stakeholder of Petronas is the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) which is essentially the Prime Minister.

Petronas is essentially the personal piggy bank of whoever happens to be the Prime Minister of Malaysia.  And legally so.  Don't believe me?  Read the Act - I attached the full document to this comment.  The Petroleum Development Act was carefully designed that way, to be controlled by the Prime Minister.

In the past, when Dr. Mahathir was previously the Prime Minister, he used profits from Petronas to build KLCC (the Twin Towers) and build Putrajaya (the country's government seat) and build KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport).  As well as use Petronas money to bail out bad investments (not all of Petronas' profits were used "wisely" by the Prime Minister).

All of this was legal.  Petronas is controlled by the Prime Minister, as per Malaysia law.  Pretty enticing cash prize to be Malaysia's Prime Minister, in my opinion.

But at 92 years of age, Dr. Mahthir's concern is not about "staying in power", it's about getting the country back on track and about establishing the rule of law again.

So I have high hopes for Malaysia over the next few years.

Act 144 - Petroleum Development Act 1974.pdf

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