FGVH board is not involved in any conspiracy

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) has dismissed suggestions that its board members are involved in a conspiracy to topple a senior management staff member at the state-owned planter.

The company in a statement on Saturday said as a public-listed and government- linked company, it is regulated by various bodies including Securities Commission Malaysia and Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

“FGVH is not involved in any conspiracy or personal agenda in conducting the internal investigation (Domestic Inquiry) process on Datuk Zakaria Arshad and three other senior management staff,” the company said.

The company said accusations that the FGVH board harbours a personal agenda to bring down a senior member of management is unwarranted.

“If these accusations continue, they may derail FGVH’s focus on core business improvement plans, value creation and the board’s execution of its fiduciary duties as expected by all stakeholders and shareholders,” FGVH said.

FGVH, one of the world’s largest palm oil producers, stressed that it is committed to good corporate governance practices and will ensure that the domestic inquiry is conducted in a fair and just manner.

Zakaria and three other senior management staff have been issued a show-cause letter to explain the possible breach of procedures over the Safitex Trading LLC debt issues.

A few parties have accused the board of trying to make Zakaria the “fall guy” over the company’s performance debacle.

The state-owned planter is now embroiled in one of its biggest crises since it went public as the world’s second-largest initial public offering in 2012. Interest in the firm waned after its share price dropped from the highs of over RM5.30 after its listing to close at RM1.71 last Friday. Drops in global crude palm oil had hurt the planter with the world’s third-largest planted areas.

FGVH also said Zakaria and three other senior management staff have been asked to take leave of absence with full pay and benefits.

“This investigation is considered a fiduciary responsibility of the board in order to discharge its duty of care to the listed company and its shareholders,” FGVH said.

Last week, FGVH also announced that Khairil Anuar Aziz has been appointed as the officer to take over the duties and responsibilities of the group president/CEO.

The board executive committee has also been disbanded with immediate effect, the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. — TMR