LAST_UPDATESun, 22 Jul 2018 9pm

Petronas Warns Staff Not To Be Misled By False Information Following Cambridge Analytica Allegations

Photo: mDPhoto: mD

On March 20, 2018, online news portal Sarawak Report alleged that Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) had paid USD2 million (RM7.84 million) to London-based data firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and its parent company, SCL Group.

The report further claimed the monies were paid on behalf of the federal government to influence Malaysian voters into supporting the Barisan Nasional coalition during the 2016 Sarawak State Elections.

In a statement yesterday, the national oil corporation has denied the allegation saying, “Petronas wishes to categorically deny the allegations against the company made by online portal Sarawak Report on March 20, 2018, and any association with data consultancy Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL Group.”

As the news became viral, today, a source shared with Malaysian Digest that Petronas staff were also cautioned via their intranet on the spreading of false information leading up to GE14 in a special message titled “Getting information right” which was carried out by their media relations and group strategic communications team.

"With the Malaysian general elections looming around the corner and campaigns heating up on various fronts, we have seen a flurry of news and information circulating on multiple platforms. Some of these information are false and unsubstantiated,” Petronas warned its staff.

The message also stated that such false information “holds serious reputational risk to Petronas” and “would adversely impact our business.”

Petronas also said they will continue to defend their stance on not having any links to CA as well as the alleged deal, while reminding staff that "there are information out there which are skewed to serve specific agendas."

The statement also reminded for every Petronas staff to "stay grounded on core values" as well as called upon each one to help safeguard the corporation’s reputation.

“Don't let influx of false and misleading information distract us from becoming a world-class business entity,” the statement concluded.

Photo: mDPhoto: mD