O&G sector must ensure all employees are inoculated

Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has emphasised that the oil and gas (O&G) sector must ensure that all employees are vaccinated, cautioning that allowing outbreaks to occur will be met with strict action.

“It is known for some time now that O&G employees have repeatedly been a source of new confirmed Covid-19 cases without an end in sight.

“It is crucial for the management of the companies involved to immediately organise vaccination drives for staff of their contractors, subcontractors, including their temporary hires, by collating their data and other related information,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (July 24).

He said for any related matters, they should seek the advice of the Bintulu Health Department.

He said it was disappointing to know that many influential persons in this sector continued to refuse to organise the vaccination of their staff members by giving various reasons.

“These companies must begin to take proactive action to quickly get all their employees vaccinated,” he stressed.

Tiong, who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, pointed out that the relevant health authorities had even rolled out mobile vaccination programmes to serve recipients in hard-to-reach locations.

“No one will be left behind in the vaccination drive but it is the responsibility of the companies to cooperate closely with the Health Department to protect the health of their employees,” he said.

He said he had previously proposed several recommendations for the O&G sector in this regard, working with the relevant authorities to strictly supervise the continued operations of the companies involved so that they adhered to the standard operating procedures (SOP).

However, he said this strategy had not yielded the necessary results, while the threat of more outbreaks in this industry remained and the complacency of the people involved was not helping matters.

“Therefore, I have requested the Health Department to directly issue fines and implement lockdowns on O&G platforms for 14 days for inspections to be carried out, with the related costs to be borne by the companies,” he said.

He said in a recent meeting, he had also requested the chief executive officer of the Bintulu Liquefied Natural Gas Complex to spearhead the inoculation of all Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) employees in the district.

“He must coordinate and supervise the relevant persons in charge to comply with the SOPs to prevent more Covid-19 cases and also work together with the Health Department accordingly,” said Tiong.