Thank you Pehin Yasmin for saying out again on the topic of localisation. With the oil & gas price increasing daily, oil & gas companies are boosting up production and increasing the number of expansion projects in Brunei.
This is indeed good news for the many companies in the ooil & gas industry - operating companies, servicing companies, consultancies, contractors etc.
However, have we ever asked ourselves how many locals are virtually working and involved in these companies?
We invite the concerned government authority to have checks on these companies and especially the BSP MCY yard in Kuala Belait. Find out the actual number of locals involved in these companies and it will surely be a very big surprise.
We have heard that the government has sent out messages to these companies that within 2015, 75 per cent of the workers in their companies have to be locals.
But how many of these companies are really listening to the government? Has the government checked on them regularly to ensure that they are really enforcing the localisation practice?
Really all I can say is daily lam seeing more and more foreign workers coming to work in these industries. I have seen many foreign companies in the oil & gas sector operating here for more than 20 years and still the percentage of locals is very low (<30pc).
Again most of the locals are only working in non-technical or low paying positions. It's time we start asking ourselves how come any company that has been operating here for more than 20 years is still not fully localised? Is the technology or management so hard to transfer to the locals? Is it some kind of rocket science technology that the locals need to know?
I have also seen that many foreigners that have come here to work are without relevant work experience and the locals have to train them so that the work can move.
The credit eventually goes to the foreigners who come here with big salaries and get trained by the locals.
There are always excuses from foreign companies operating in Brunei that because of the lack of suitable locals, they are forced to recruit foreign workers temporary so as not to hinder the work progress.
But why don't they ask themselves that they have been here for more than 20 years, how come they still cannot train enough locals?
Was their main intention here to make big profits and leave Brunei once the oil & gas run out?
So, they are not committed to training and transferring their technology to the locals but only interested in big monies?
Many foreign companies here also have some sort of worksharing within their organisations.
We have seen big projects in Brunei given to these companies and the work is shared or done by their own companies located outside Brunei.
Is this really acceptable to the Brunei government?
The topic of localisation is so hot nowadays and it's time we Bruneians and PRs are brave to stand up and ensure it is being followed.
The government really has to get tough with these companies if they want to achieve their aim of localisation. They have to really get tough in issuing the number of labour quotas.
Stop issuing labour quotas to foreigners above 55 years old.
Make regular checks on these companies to ensure they are hiring locals also in senior positions. We must ensure the vision of the government is put into action. Together we locals can do it!