FGVH stakeholders to press for EGM if resolution fails

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGVH) stakeholders will press for an EGM if the outcome from several actions, including a government-mooted probe, fails to resolve the troubles at the plantation firm.

National Felda Settlers’ Children Association (Anak) president Mazlan Aliman said the association is waiting for the findings made by former Cabinet Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) graft investigation at the company.

“We hope both reports will clarify the situation at FGVH and pave the way forward for the company. If both fail to extend a solution, then I see the EGM as a viable second action,” Mazlan told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) when contacted yesterday.

Under the Companies Act 1965, shareholders have the right to requisite and convene a general meeting with two or more members holding not less than 10% of the issued share capital.

As at April 28, 2017, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Felda Asset Holdings Co Sdn Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Haji, Retirement Fund Inc, Koperasi Permodalan Felda Malaysia Bhd and the Pahang state government collectively held a 59.67% stake in FGVH, according to the firm on its website.

About 10% of FGVH shares are owned by foreigners, leaving about a 30% stake of the planter’s share in the hands of locals — institutional and individual investors.

TMR had reported that the Securities Commission Malaysia and Bursa Malaysia are “closely monitoring” the events at FGVH. Listed firms are regulated by strict rules and regulations — especially on disclosure, transactions and corporate governance. Meanwhile, the report by Idris has been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak. Najib was reported as saying a proper declaration will be made after all options are considered.

Idris was appointed as an outside counsel to wade through the facts and allegations at FGVH.

It is believed that the report contains proposed actions on how to resolve the graft and abuse counterclaims between the FGVH board and suspended CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad.

The MACC had also initiated its own investigation into possible corrupt practices at FGVH. Most of the the alleged graft involved senior personnel at the listed firm.

The agency’s officers spent eight hours at FGVH headquarters at Menara Felda last Thursday. They had collected documents related to the graft claims and the company’s dealings.

Anak hopes FGVH chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s removal from FGVH will be included as part of the resolution.

“I hope one of the decisions made will be to remove Mohd Isa (from FGVH). Considering Idris’ experience and the issues at hand, I believe that verdict will be sought by the former minister,” Mazlan said.

He said Anak will also assess the concluding testimony given by the MACC, following their investigation on the palm oil corporation.

Meanwhile, Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad has requested FGVH to grant the agency three additional seats on the company’s board to restore confidence in the firm. Currently, only three of the nine FGVH directors are from Felda, which include the suspended Zakaria.

The addition of three new Felda representatives is seen as a way to balance the firm’s decision-making process. An analyst said a 12-man board for a listed firm is “an exceptional size”.

Shahrir had in a letter dated May 26, 2017, sought for the three additional seats on FGVH’s board, but has not received a response to date. Felda is believed to have named three names — its board member Datuk Abu Bakar Harun, deputy DG in economic development Datuk Ab Ghani Mohd Ali and deputy DG in management Datuk Muzzammil Mohd Nor—to sit on the FGVH board.

Mazlan said the appointments of the three representatives from Felda should not be disputed, as Felda is the largest shareholder in FGVH.