The Official Opening Of JULANG Exhibition

August 16, 2017 6:10 pm 0 comments

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PETRONAS Twin Towers
Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Salam Sejahtera, Salam 1Malaysia dan Salam Negaraku.

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, President and Group CEO of PETRONAS, and Board Members of PETRONAS,

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Alhamdulillah, allow me to express utmost gratitude to Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, for it is with His Blessings and His Grace, that we are gathered here this evening to launch the JULANG exhibition as part of the nationwide ‘Negaraku’ initiative. The 60th anniversary of our country’s independence is indeed a significant milestone in our Nation’s history. It is a good occasion for us to reflect on how far we have come as a nation and a people. And of a future that we must collectively continue to chart for ourselves. For our children and future generations.

2. While six decades have passed, the words of the Father of Independence, Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj during the Proclamation of Independence rings just as true today as it did all those years ago — that ‘we are masters of our destiny, and the welfare of this beloved land is our own responsibility’.

3. In the case of PETRONAS, as the custodian of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources, the translation of this vision has been the cornerstone of all that we have done over the last 43 years, with remarkable outcome. This is what the exhibition JULANG has so eloquently captured.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. Just as Malaysia’s independence was not achieved through violence and the spilling of blood, PETRONAS’ management of Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources did not happen through brute force and threats of nationalisation, but instead through skilful policy planning and execution, underpinned by a steely determination.

5. The incorporation of PETRONAS on 17 August 1974, 43 years to the day tomorrow and the subsequent take-off was the culmination of the efforts of many parties – visionary personalities who dared to imagine for this country something which never before existed – its own oil and gas corporation.

6. I am sure many of you have heard of the story of PETRONAS’ pioneering team of ‘18 men with two telephone lines’ operating out of a wooden building at the then Prime Minister’s Department in Jalan Dato Onn. A great tribute to all our founding leaders who were focused and steadfast in their pursuit of excellence but more importantly, the duty of nation building.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7. Let us ponder the circumstances in which PETRONAS came into being 43 years ago.

8. Malaysia was barely 17 years old – young and hungry. We were just coming out of a predominantly agricultural society. Industrialisation was just setting foot, and industrial parks and free trade zones were beginning to dot the nation’s landscape.

9. Obviously our technological knowledge base then, lagged behind many other countries. But we knew that technology was the game changer – that was where the future lies.

10. What we did not know, we had to learn and learn quickly. For PETRONAS this meant that staff were sent out on secondment to other oil and gas entities to learn the ropes of industry. PETRONAS also sent students for tertiary education, 35,000 recipients since 1974, in many new areas including geology and petroleum engineering.

11. This was an extremely critical and bold move at the time, both for PETRONAS, as well as for the nation. As hard as it is to imagine today, in the early 1970’s, less than 2 per cent of Malaysia’s population had any kind of tertiary education, or was in training for one. By comparison, it stands at 37 per cent today.

12. At 2 per cent it was virtually impossible to kick-start any industry in a meaningful way, let alone a complex one like oil and gas.

13. The readiness to master and apply technology was key to the economic catch up game.

14. Such was our conviction that the theme for Hari Kebangsaan for 1974 was ‘Sains dan Teknologi Alat Perpaduan’ – that Science and Technology is the Basis for Unity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

15. National unity is the cornerstone of nation building, especially one as diverse as Malaysia.

16. The mastery and application of technology, is a great enabler. Technological progress, wisely applied, promotes economic advancement. This, in turn, makes possible social development and promotes unity and harmony.

17. This unfortunately is not automatic. We must always remind ourselves that unity is to be preserved and cherished. In a country like Malaysia where a large majority of its population has never seen major unrest and upheaval, Alhamdulillah, unity and harmony is too easily taken for granted.

18. We must continuously, remind ourselves, that unity is not a derivative of homogeneity; or that social cohesion can only exists in single race, single religion communities. National unity recognises and celebrates the diversity of Malaysians, and encourages them to embrace it and look beyond.

19. It is for this reason that PETRONAS actively participate in the ‘Negaraku’ initiative which focuses on the Common Good for all Malaysians. It seeks to inspire positivity and pride in our country. Yours and mine. This is especially important as the naysayers are many, and relentless in their effort to undermine this nation every way they can. More so in these days and age, where social media and keyboard warriors have the freedom in what they share and viral in the virtual world.

20. I am pleased to note that PETRONAS has for so many years championed social unity on many platforms, especially through its very popular Merdeka advertisement series.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

21. Singularity of purpose is a powerful thing. In the Government, I am certain, and in running a conglomerate, one is driven by the desire to do the best by his people and the Almighty.

22. It is this singularity of purpose that remains the compass for PETRONAS and its people in weathering the challenges of the oil and gas industry.

23. The market and price volatility which saw Brent price plummeted to a 14-year low of USD 26 per barrel on 11 February 2016, political uncertainties in major oil producing regions, advancement in alternative energy sources which have led several nations to announce the banning of sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles between 2025 and 2040, a sluggish world economy — all contribute to depressed prices, smaller margins and an uncertain future for the oil and gas industry.

24. Yet PETRONAS through sound and prudent management continues to march forward in fulfilling the responsibility, the Amanah that has been bestowed upon all of us. Allow me to express my utmost appreciation to the people of PETRONAS for the continued commitment to the future of our Nation and its people. ‘Menjulang tanggungjawab yang diamanahkan’.

25. This is ‘menjulang semangat kemerdekaan’ in the truest sense.

26. On that note, and with lafaz ‘Bismillahirrahamnirrahim’, it gives me great pleasure to declare the JULANG exhibition open.

Wabillahitaufik Walhidayah Wasalammualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

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