Claims of nepotism after Petron, linked to Mahathir's son, gets government fuel contract

Mr Mirzan Mahathir, the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is a director of Philippine-based Petron Corporation, which owns Petron Malaysia.
Mr Mirzan Mahathir, the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is a director of Philippine-based Petron Corporation, which owns Petron Malaysia.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government faces accusations of cronyism and nepotism after news emerged that the Ministry of Finance has appointed a unit of Petron Malaysia as one of the fuel providers for government vehicles.

A letter of appointment addressed to Petron Fuel International Bhd has gone viral on social media, as the Prime Minister's son, Mr Mirzan Mahathir,  is a director of Philippine-based Petron Corporation, which owns Petron Malaysia.

News site Malaysiakini reported that it had verified with government sources that the letter had been distributed to government ministries.

The letter stated that the Petron Malaysia unit had been appointed a fuel provider for government vehicles through indent cards.

It added that it hoped the appointment of the Petron unit would provide "a better choice and alternative" to existing fuel providers.

Mr Mirzan has been a director of Petron Corporation since 2010 and held 1,000 shares in that year.

In 2013, Petron Malaysia said Mr Mirzan did not have any shares or a role in its Malaysian operations.

The Ministry of Finance has been contacted for comments.