We would like to express our support for the petition signed on 8 November 2017 by some 47 Malaysian Members of Parliament from Pakatan Harapan, Warisan and PAS calling on Petronas to divest from the Union of Myanmar.
The petition quite rightly notes that the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar has been subjected to “…systematic ethnic cleansing that (among others) involved torture, indiscriminate murder, burning of settlements, rape and intimidation in the last 10 years.”
As such, it calls on Petronas to completely divest from Myanmar from 1 January 2018 unless and until:
“a. Government of Myanmar recognized (sic) that ethnic minority Rohingya are legitimate citizens of Myanmar and are accorded the rights and protection given to other citizens of Myanmar; and
b. All manner of intimidation, subjugation, discrimination and crime against them (ethnic minority Rohingya) are stopped immediately and comprehensively.”
Petronas should realize that its investments have an impact on the lives of the people of the countries that it chooses to do business in.
At the same time—as a government-linked company and one of the most respectable and recognisable Malaysian brands globally—its decisions in this regard also have a direct impact on our country’s reputation and moral standing.
The Myanmar military has not ceased its violent actions in the Rakhine state despite international pressure.
It therefore behoves global corporate citizens—if they truly care about human rights and their reputations—to take a stand on this matter.
Continuing to invest and do business in Myanmar without demanding changes to its policies means that companies which engage in such activities are also complicit in the actions of the military-backed regime.
We therefore call on Petronas to accept the petition of the 47 MPs, as well as for its President and CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin to meet with a delegation of those legislators to discuss this matter as requested in the letter dated 7 November 2017 from Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.