Culture

Isa resigns from FGV posts

Isa resigns from FGV posts”

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Reuters) - The chairman of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) stepped down on Monday, which Malaysia's government said would preserve the integrity of investigations into the firm's CEO and other executives that he had initiated.

The board changes come amid infighting in the company's management following the suspension of senior executives, including President and Chief Executive Zakaria Arshad, earlier this month to facilitate an investigation into one of its subsidiaries' transactions.

The public wrangling at FGV has created political risk for Prime Minister Najib Razak as its parent agency is the Federal Land Development Authority, which was set up during Malaysia's independence to allocate land to farmers, many of whom are now FGV shareholders.

Among them are grounds to investigate Zakaria over alleged breaches of procedures in Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of FGV. Some settlers have expressed concern about the management battle and called for the chairman to step down.

PMO in a separate statement informed that Sulaiman is now the acting Chairman of FGV.

Mr Zakaria denied any wrongdoing and instead accused the FGV board led by Mr Isa of approving ridiculous deals.

The Prime Minister's office said that based on the former cabinet minister's findings, it had made a decision to transfer Isa to a government agency.

"Apart from undertaking the normal roles and responsibilities of the chairman, Sulaiman will immediately take action to oversee the implementation of the above way forward", it said. They have also taken a hit from a 70 percent drop in FGV share prices since its initial public offering in 2012.

Isa is unpopular with some farmer groups - known as settlers - who saw Zakaria, a planter's son, as making progress in improving FGV's performance.

FGV's internal investigation on the procedural irregularities between Delima Oil and Safitex has resulted in show-cause letters issued by FGV's board of directors on Zakaria and the group chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha.

The statement from the prime minister's office also said the decline in the financial performance of FGV and Felda warranted a comprehensive business review and noted that a review had started late previous year.

Sulaiman, 68, had served the government for over 38 years in various capacities, including holding the position of the Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department, Secretary-General of the then Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, and Under Secretary (Economics) of the Ministry of Finance. FGV's shares climbed as much as 6.3% to 1.87 ringgit after the announcement, reaching their highest level since May 30.



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