When Tun Mahathir Mohamad was fired from Petronas on March 11th, the news was carried by almost every news outlet in the region.
When a replacement was named two weeks later, it again made news headlines.
It is interesting how a political “sacking” and appointment that had very little impact on Petronas’ operation got such a huge coverage by the media.
It even got International Business Times (SG), supposedly a business news outlet, to write a piece of political narration of events leading up to the sacking and the new appointment.
First and foremost, an advisor had little to say in the way how things are run in Petronas; whatever he advises had to go through the Board consideration and deliberation anyways.
Secondly, the job is a political appointment and is therefore at the discretion of the ruling government.
By logic, if the incumbent is no longer supportive, and is in fact actively working with the Opposition to topple the government, it is only good sense for the government to remove him from the position that he got through his original political affiliation.
Thirdly, his replacement is Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, another former Prime Minister, so the prestige of being an advisor to Petronas has not been lessened in any way.
However, to most people, the most important part of this whole mess is, the advisor is really in no way have any impact on how Petronas runs its business.