I cannot yet conceive of just how much a billion ringgit is, let alone sums like RM570 billion that Petronas has earned in the last 35 years. So what has it done with those mind-boggling lollies?
According to a Malaysiakini news article, Petronas hits back at mismanagement charges, stating that it paid RM336 billion to the government, whilst investing the remaining locally, like laying gas pipelines and building processing and petrochemical plants.
But has that been it?
Of course not!
Malaysiakini in its Petronas bosses live like oil kings …….. well ........ need I say more?
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng lambasted those pseudo-sheiks of oil, or oily pseudo-sheiks for living it like royalty at a time when millions of Malaysians are reeling from the impact of the fuel-price hike.
And may I say, even royalty may not live up to their publicly sponsored standards, not that the public knew (but only suspect) WTF was going on.
According to Lim, the Petronas has purchased jets, helicopters, mansions and luxury cars, etc, for the use of its executives. He wants it to stop.
Hmmm, that’s like telling little Johnny boy to mind the cookie jar and not touch it. The trouble with some Malaysians is that they love to live it up, especially on unaccountable public expense account. Some people have expensive taste too, with other people's money.
Furthermore, Petronas operates like the CIA – no one knows WTF its officials have been or will be doing.
Economy-class air traveller Lim Guan Eng moaned: "They should stop behaving like kings who feel they are not accountable to anyone but themselves. They have private jets - we want to know how many. They have luxury cars - we want to know how many."
KNN, 'how maNNNY'? Wah, chea lart man (bloody terrible).
Then there have been the frequent organised trips abroad and costly banquets, and its officials' pseudo-refined taste involving expenditure of millions and millions of ringgit on maintaining the National Philharmonic Orchestra, which is staffed mainly by non-Malaysians - as the Chinese saying goes, "spending public millions to buy people's bums to use as their blooming faces".
Oh, don’t forget the annual Formula One race too.
And of course Petronas played the role of rich godfather, bailing out failed projects operated by you-know-who. The bloody huge safety net, but only for the favoured!
I cannot help but recall my school days when my school principal forced, yes, forced every student including the poor like me to buy at least RM3 worth of church fete ticket.
The old man didn’t use any recognized Christian approach. He was full of sarcasm, insults and dire threats for those who pleaded that their parents, or in my case (as with many other students) my widowed mum, couldn’t afford the RM3.
As typical of mums in those days, mine gave me hell for the RM3 she was forced to dole out. I haven’t stopped cursing the school principal yet.
On the day of the fete, at Wellesley Church, I walked up and down pondering how I could maximize my RM3 worth of ticket.
I saw and liked the nasi kunyit kari ayam which was RM1.50 a plate (aiyoh, too expensive lah for such a small plate), whilst the rose syrup ice water was RM1 (what! KNN), which would then leave me with an unusable 50 sen because every damn thing at the church fete was at least RM1. No way was I going to go home with this sum unspent. It would have been an unmitigated sin to waste 50 sen.
I agonized for over an hour about the best combination to use up the RM3. In the end I skipped the ice water and had 2 plates of the nasi kunyit which only served to keen up my appetite – guess I was just a born loser.
And the worst thing, because of my long agonising over the RM3, was that I didn’t have the untroubled mind and time to enjoy the event at all.
When I read of the Petronas obscene profligate shindig-ing I wonder where’s the bloody justice? Some people just can’t be trusted with money.