Petronas bosses accused of "living like kings"

Petronas bosses accused of "living like kings"
Agence France-Presse - 6/17/2008 9:56 AM GMT

The chief minister of Malaysia's Penang state has accused the bosses of national energy firm Petronas of "living like kings" while the public is forced to pay higher fuel prices.

Lim Guan Eng, whose Democratic Action Party seized control of the island state, a major technology and manufacturing hub, in March general elections, called on Petronas to reveal all details of its revenues and expenses.

"They should stop behaving like kings who feel they are not accountable to anyone but themselves," he told reporters.

"They have private jets -- we want to know how many. They have luxury cars -- we want to know how many," he said.

"Petronas must also tell the people how much money it is spending on sponsorship," he said, accusing it of spending millions on supporting orchestras and international events.

Lim dismissed the firm's recent decision to issue a report on its finances, saying it would be too general and only pay lip-service to demands for more accountability."It will not throw any light on how their expenses were accounted for," he said.

Lim said Petronas should realise that there was growing public anger against it following a recent 41 percent fuel price hike by the government which has triggered a series of street protests.

The opposition has condemned the price rise, saying that as a net exporter of oil Malaysia should not have to withdraw fuel subsidies so steeply.

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