FGV episode embarrassing, says Puad

 

“Zakaria was vehement in denying wrongdoing on his part, citing a decision by the previous group CEO that led to the current method of payment being employed in dealings between Safitex and Delima”

UMNO supreme council member Dato’ Md Puad Zarkashi today urged Dato’ Zakaria Arshad and Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad to resign from their respective positions in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV).

A news report by The Malay Mail Online quoted Puad as saying the “embarrassing episode” threatened to reduce investor confidence, now suffering a “trust deficit.”

“This is such an embarrassing episode and it is obvious that both of them can no longer talk in a civil manner… it is only good for both of them to resign voluntarily.

“Take the honourable route. Let new faces take over the efforts to rebuild FGV so that it would begin making profits again, especially for the main shareholders: the settlers,” he said.

Puad was referring to a recent boardroom tussle that saw Isa exercise his jurisdiction as FGV chairman by suspending Zakaria over an alleged breach of corporate ethics.

According to reports, Isa had accused the group CEO and president of defying norms by allowing a long-time customer – an Afghan company named Safitex – to purchase palm oil products from the group’s subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bid, without a letter of credit.

This, said Isa, had caused a delay in payments by Safitex for a September 2016 shipment of palm oil products from Delima.

Zakaria was vehement in denying wrongdoing on his part, citing a decision by the group’s previous CEO that led to the current method of payment being employed in dealings between Safitex and Delima.

This was highlighted yesterday by The Third Force (READ HERE), who noted Isa’s presence at a signing ceremony held on the 17th of October 2015 that saw Safitex being granted credit facilities for the purchase of palm oil products from Delima.

Zakaria had yet to be appointed group CEO then.

Speculation is rife that Isa needs Zakaria out of the way to latch his cronies onto FGV, with some insisting that the group chairman needs to prevent evidence of his misdeeds from leaking to authorities.

If true, Isa may have a lot to worry about, now that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) is launching a discovery into alleged improprieties involving the world’s largest Crude Palm Oil (CPO) producer.

At 2.25 pm today, Zakaria was reported to have submitted some documents to the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Putrajaya.

In a statement, MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki affirmed the agency would look into FGV following yesterday’s developments and would seek Zakaria’s assistance in the probe.

“We are looking into claims of graft and possible abuse of power involving several officials,” he said.

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