10/06/2020  •  5 mins read

A United Front Against COVID-19


Chai Li Tiing

At the turn of the decade, an unprecedented crisis swept across the world in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments rallied to contain the fast-spreading disease, the health shock also precipitated the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 

The world watched in fear and disbelief as the number of infected rose exponentially within a few short months. Unemployment rates reached new heights and oil prices plummeted to new lows.

It is in these times of crisis that humanity shines the brightest. The noble medical frontliners saving lives working together with the law enforcers maintaining order, and the everyday women and men who gave what they could to help those whose lives were upended. These are the inspirational and aspirational stories that assure us we can overcome the crucible of COVID-19 with collective effort.

PETRONAS knows that the fight against the pandemic is our fight, too.


Collaboration and focused attention among all parties is crucial to combat the disease. Understanding that action had to be taken immediately to curb the spread, PETRONAS set up two taskforces at the enterprise level to address the current situation.

The Pandemic Preparedness Response Team (PPRT) was formed in January 2020 to deliberate and implement timely and proactive initiatives to curb the risk of transmission and safeguard the wellbeing of our staff, their families as well as contractors. The Corporate Command Centre (C3) was assembled in March 2020 to strengthen our oversight, orchestration and unified command in addressing the impacts of the pandemic and low oil price on business operations. The two multidisciplinary taskforces of experts convene daily to discuss and implement necessary measures including proactive and, above and beyond accepted best practices in ensuring sustainability of the business with priority on health and safety.

Having strengthened the response from within the organisation, PETRONAS stepped up its efforts to support national endeavours in this hour of need. From the onset, we worked closely with Majlis Keselamatan Negara and contributed to the development of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Oil and Gas Sector, to restart and rebuild the Malaysian economy during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

Our swift and resolute strategy of rigorous testing, contact tracing and quarantine of identified high risk persons was instrumental towards the successful closure of the Pengerang cluster at a total of 15 cases, with a 100 per cent recovery rate. To curb risks of the pandemic spreading, we proactively tested 630 individuals nationwide. We also made available real time avenues, including hotlines, covering areas from COVID-19 to mental and physical well-being and security advisory as well as human resources-related queries. Collectively, these were intended to provide our staff with the right facts and support in adapting to the new normal.

PETRONAS, through PPRT, is in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) on health and safety matters, including crisis management. Our employees also gave a portion of their salary in a donation drive, raising RM6.4 million for NADMA, bringing PETRONAS’ total COVID-19 contribution to RM37.8 million as at May 2020.

Beyond that, we launched the #WeWishYouWell campaign (see poster below) aimed at alleviating anxiety and lending emotional support. The campaign encompasses positive messages for employees including the frontliners working on site with minimal manpower and those reeling from the isolation of working from home, uplifting and inspiring stories for the public on social media platforms, and advisory information on how to deal with the new normal.

Through its efforts in supporting the government and communities, protecting the well-being of our people and delivering energy reliably, PETRONAS is throwing its full weight behind the battle against COVID-19 and the rebuilding of the economy.

Though the road ahead is still paved with challenges, we are in this together. And together, we will emerge from this stronger and sturdier.

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