Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad said that the advantages of Malaysians working in foreign countries as professionals and having certain skills and abilities make them highly regarded.
The prime minister said at this time many Malaysians working in other countries had a high level of knowledge in their jobs such as engineers, pilots and doctors and not as co-workers or domestic helpers.
This lead the Malaysians in high regard. If we were to work overseas as hard workers, then foreigners would not. This is because our people abroad have certain capabilities and can contribute to the country in which they work.
“I hope all Malaysians do this by demanding knowledge, skills and professionalism abroad”, he said at a dinner with about 80 Malaysians in Turkmenistan.
“Our ability is the same as the ability of a developed nation, this is our desire, and we have said that we are already part of it (being a developed country) and there is a sense that Malaysia is already a developed country, but we are not yet a developed nation”, Mahathir said.
“We must strive to take over all areas so that we can contribute to the modernization of our country and the world at large”, he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir described the capabilities and expertise of the country’s petroleum company, PETRONAS, in developing the oil and gas industry in Malaysia and abroad as in Turkmenistan.
He said the success of PETRONAS, which is now operating around the world, was due to the fact that the company had acquired knowledge and competence in the field, thus gaining recognition from foreign countries.
“Today, the world recognizes PETRONAS as a giant in the field of petroleum and gas”, he said.
After two top visits from Turkmenistan leaders to Malaysia in 1994, the country’s government recognized PETRONAS experience and qualifications in the oil and gas industry and invited the petroleum company to invest in the country.
In 1996, PETRONAS was awarded a 32-year production-sharing contract (PSC) by the Turkmenistan government ending 2028 to produce natural gas in Block 1 of the Caspian Sea.
Currently, Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world with underground natural gas reserves after Russia, Iran and Qatar.
The proven natural gas reserves are 20 trillion cubic meters, however, that number may be higher than more areas in the country are still under exploration.