Malaysia Voices Concerns over Petronas Asset Seizures in Sudan

Wednesday, 13-October-2021 21:00

illustration: Petronas logo at a Petronas refueling station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Image : ANTARA/Reuters/as
illustration: Petronas logo at a Petronas refueling station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Malaysian government has raised concern over the confiscation of assets belonging to Petronas in Khartoum, Sudan, by the African country's transitional government involving the Petronas Sudan Complex, on the grounds that it was obtained illegally by the previous government.

Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday (10/13/2021) that since the issue emerged in December 2020, it has been working closely with Petronas, including through the Malaysian Embassy in Khartoum, to address the issue.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs admitted that it had made diplomatic efforts, including summoning the Sudanese Charge d'Affaires in Kuala Lumpur twice to convey Malaysia's concerns, and would continue to monitor the development of the issue to safeguard Malaysia's interests in Sudan.

The Malaysian government has asked the Sudanese government to respect the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement agreed by the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Sudanese government is also asked to respect the status of the Malaysian Embassy as a diplomatic entity.

Although Petronas has tried to resolve the issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes that the issue can be resolved quickly in order to maintain Malaysia-Sudan relations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that all Malaysian citizens living in Sudan have reported to the embassy and are safe.

Earlier, it was reported that Sudan's transitional government was seeking to seize assets belonging to Malaysia's national oil company on charges that it was obtained through illegal means when Sudan was ruled by Omar al-Bashir.

After al-Bashir was ousted, the transitional government passed legislation and established the Committee on Elimination, Anti-Corruption and Refunds (ERC), which was tasked with reviewing agreements and retrieving assets allegedly acquired through illegal means during the previous administration.

While investigating the former president and his close circle, the committee accused foreign investors in Sudan and confiscated their assets.

Malaysia's Petronas has operated in Sudan for more than 20 years, and helped the country become an oil exporter.

Meanwhile, United States sanctions on Sudan have posed a major challenge to foreign companies, including Petronas, as reported by Antara. 

Reporter : turkhan
Editor : turkhan