FGV not out of the woods yet

PETALING JAYA: The resignation of Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad as Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) chairman, which appears to have brought about enough feel good factor to push its share price up 6%, has not addressed the issues plaguing FGV yet.

FGV’s share price rose as much as 11 sen or 6.25% before closing 8 sen or 4.5% higher at RM1.84 yesterday, with some 34.72 million shares changing hands.

It is still unclear if FGV is set to lose its CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad and CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha and two other senior management officers following a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that there are sufficient facts and reasonable grounds warranting the FGV board to initiate disciplinary proceedings against its CEO, and two other senior management officials in relation to alleged breach of procedures in Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd (DOP), a subsidiary of FGV.

“As such, FGV should continue with its ongoing disciplinary proceedings. It should be highlighted that no one is guilty of any wrongdoing at this juncture unless proven by the impending domestic inquiries. During the domestic inquiries, the four management officials will be able to defend themselves in line with the laws of natural justice.”

It added that the DOP case highlights the immediate need for FGV to radically improve its corporate governance and business control at the group and subsidiary levels.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner’s probe into FGV is also still ongoing. Zakaria in a statement said he is confident he will be proven innocent. He has engaged Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as legal counsel.

FGV said in a statement, that Mohd Isa had resigned from the chairmanship of FGV, its subsidiaries, associates and joint-venture companies (FGV Group) to focus on his personal undertakings with immediate effect.

Mohd Isa’s chairmanship in other Felda-related companies include MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Encorp Bhd, Felda Holdings Bhd and Pontian United Plantations Bhd. MSM yesterday re-designated its independent non-executive director Datuk Rosini Abd Samad as chairman.

Mohd Isa, aged 67, has been the government-appointed chairman to FGV since Jan 1, 2011.

Meanwhile, FGV independent non-executive director Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob, aged 68, has been re-designated as the group acting chairman. He is also FGV’s chairman of the board governance & risk management committee.

FGV is currently being managed by a board executive committee, comprising two FGV directors – Datuk Dr Omar Salim and Datuk Mohd Zafer Mohd Hashim – and head of logistics cluster Azman Ahmad. – by Lee Weng Khuen