The Malaysian Reserve

Abdul Wahid to leave PNB?

The former Malayan Banking Bhd CEO left the country’s largest banking group to join Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s Cabinet in 2013 and was appointed as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Pic: TMRpic)

The PNB chairman is said to be negotiating exit terms in both PNB and Sime Darby Property

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By TMR

Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar (picture) is expected to vacate his position as the chairman of the country’s largest asset management fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

The former federal minister is expected to tender his resignation as early as next month, people familiar with the development told The Malaysian Reserve. His departure from the government-linked investment company (GLIC) has been widely speculated following Pakatan Harapan’s historic victory in the May 9 general election (GE).

The former Malayan Banking Bhd CEO left the country’s largest banking group to join Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s Cabinet in 2013 and was appointed as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

He became PNB chairman in August 2016. He is also the chairman of Sime Darby Property Bhd after the demerger of the old Sime Darby Bhd.

“He (Abdul Wahid) is now negotiating exit terms in both PNB and Sime Darby Property,” said the sources who are not authorised to speak to the media.

PNB is a major shareholder in the demerged Sime Darby. Abdul Wahid was appointed the chair- man at the property company in November last year.

Abdul Wahid declined to comment on his future in both companies when met recently. He emphasised that he still has work to do at the fund.

“Fow now, I will continue to focus on the job…there are (still) work to be done,” said the former minister.

The sources added that PNB group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad, who was hand- picked by Abdul Wahid to lead the GLIC, could also leave the fund.

“Abdul Rahman might leave the company on loyalty issues, given that the person that chose him will no longer be there as the chairman,” said the sources.

Abdul Wahid, 54, was in charge of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under former Prime Minister Najib’s Cabinet.

The former banker hogged the limelight after he released a statement on why the Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be maintained and how the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax would be regressive, just two days before the GE. The Pakatan Harapan government had promised to abolish the consumption tax if they secured the mandate to rule the country.

Under Abdul Wahid, PNB had also announced plans to construct 5,000 affordable homes in Selangor and Negri Sembilan. It is not known the fate of the projects.

PNB has also been in the spotlight recently following possible investigation into its proposed £1.61 billion (RM8.59 billion) transaction, together with the Employees Provident Fund, in the Battersea Power Station project in the UK.

Other key resignations related to government-owned companies and agencies: Telekom Malaysia Bhd MD/group CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly and Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim.

The market is also speculating about the fate of Petroliam Nasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) yesterday announced Mohd Imran Mohamad Salim as the new group MD to replace his father, Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, who had expressed his intention to retire.

MRCB also made changes to its board, redesignating Tan Sri Azlan Zainol as an independent chairman.