MIRI: The transformation of Miri from a fishermen’s village into a cosmopolitan city that it is today is largely attributable to Shell, says Minister of Transport Sarawak Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.
He even hails the global energy and petrochemical group as ‘the one that started Miri in 1910’.
“At that time, Miri was just a small fishermen’s village. So when Shell came in, they were actually the local government because they provided all the utilities here including the hospital, water supply and roads.
“They also provide free bus services for the students to go to school.
“Those were the days,” he said in his remarks during Sarawak Shell’s ‘Hari Raya Aidilfitri’ Open House at Lot 100 in Piasau Nature Reserve here on Friday.
The Senadin assemblyman said growing up in Miri, he knew many of Shell’s contributions to the city.
“I think the people of Miri would also like to express their thanks and appreciation to Shell, because that’s how Miri started.
“Shell also brought in this culture of excellence. That’s why you can see many people in Miri are quite liberal. Miri is an open society and this is what makes it different from other towns in Sarawak.”
Lee also acknowledged Shell moving its headquarters back to Miri and in this respect, he hope for it to be another phase of history for the city.
“I’m very happy to say that this (Shell headquarters in Miri) was what I had been proposing to a number of Shell MDs (managing directors) for many years, and finally, it’s happening.
“At the same time, we are moving to the next phase of development in Miri. All this while, we have been developing oil and gas via offshore but now, we are going back onshore with Petros (Petroleum Sarawak),” he said, adding that since Petros was set up, Shell had been working closely with the Sarawak government.
“That’s why we would like Shell to stay and be our partner in the development of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak. There are still a lot of opportunities in this industry.
“I hope all of us would continue to work closely together. We need industry partners and the government to work closely together as a team.
“We cannot go without one another if we wanted Sarawak to progress, grow and prosper.”
Lee also took the opportunity to congratulate Siti Hurrairah Sulaiman, the country chair of Shell Malaysia, for being the first Sarawakian woman to hold such post.
“Sarawak Shell has provided a very good training ground for many people in Sarawak. I know many who worked for Shell before and now, they have joined Petros.
“Shell has provided a very good training ground for Sarawakians in the oil and gas industry, and now these Sarawakians are holding high positions at their respective professional fields, within the oil and gas industry.
“This is also a part of what Shell has been contributing to Sarawak,” he added.
Also attending the Aidilfitri open house were Petros chief executive officer Janin Girie and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd senior general manager (Sarawak assets) Anuar B Ismail.
The Borneo Post