Fate of FGV president/CEO Zakaria to be decided by MoF Inc

PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) group president/CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad is still waiting for a decision on his position at the plantation giant despite the completion of a domestic inquiry.

A source with knowledge of the matter told SunBiz that the domestic inquiry has been completed and its findings, along with the recommended action, have been submitted to FGV’s special shareholder, Minister of Finance (Inc), or MoF Inc, shortly before its new chairman, Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid, started work on Sept 11.

“That is the standard procedure. Once the inquiry has been completed, the findings will be submitted, along with the recommended action, but the decision will be made by the special shareholder. Any decision related to the chairman and CEO of FGV is under the purview of the special shareholder MoF Inc, which is ultimately the Prime Minister,” said the source.

However, the decision on the other three suspended executives, namely group CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, FGV Trading CEO Ahmad Salman Omar and Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim, was made by the board of directors.

Today, Ahmad Tifli resumed his duties after being suspended for almost four months while Ahmad Salman and Kamarzaman returned to work last week.

FGV, which was expected to announce the outcome of the domestic inquiry more than two weeks ago, has made no announcements on the findings of the inquiry, recommended actions or Zakaria’s fate to date.

When contacted by SunBiz, Zakaria said he has not been in contact with FGV since the completion of the domestic inquiry and is still waiting for a decision on his position at FGV.

However, he remained tight-lipped when asked if he was contacted by MoF Inc or the Prime Minister’s Office.

He continues to be on leave of absence while his duties are being attended to by officer-in-charge Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz.

To recap, Zakaria, Ahmad Tifli, Kamarzaman and Ahmad Salman were issued with letters for leave of absence in early June following an internal audit investigation whereby alleged discrepancies were found in the dealings between Delima Oil Products and Safitex Trading LLC.

Zakaria and Ahmad Tifli were subsequently served show-cause letters and, on July 18, a domestic inquiry commenced to investigate the issues relating to the long outstanding debt of Safitex which rose to US$11.7 million, exceeding the allocated credit limit.

Earlier, in June, former FGV chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad said the group would appoint an external legal counsel in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, to look into recovering the money owed according to procedures in Dubai.

However, there has been no update since then on the appointment of the external legal counsel or on the recovery of the money owed. Safitex has not made any payments to Delima Oil Products since the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015.

FGV’s share price increased 1.79% or 3 sen to close at RM1.71 today with a total of 4.58 million shares traded. It has a market capitalisation of RM6.20 billion.