Tabung Haji gets new chair, CEO

By AFIQ AZIZ / Graphic By TMR

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has appointed former Securities Commission Malaysia executive chairman Tan Sri Mohammed Nor Md Yusof as its new chairperson.

In a report sighted by Bernama last Friday, Mohammed Nor (picture) — 71, a chartered accountant and served national carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd in 2001 — replaces Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

After five years of service, Abdul Azeez vacated his position on May 14, five days after the Barisan Nasional-led government was ousted in the 14th General Election (GE14).

The haj pilgrims fund board also named former BIMB Holdings Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Zukri Samat as its new CEO. Both appointments took effect last Friday.

Mohammed Nor regards the appointment as a huge responsibility from Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I think it is a big honour. The nature of the task is something very noble and for people like me and Zukri, we think it is a very honourable task,” Mohammed Nor — who is also a board director at Khazanah Nasional Bhd — said. Set up as a statutory body in 1963, the Islamic financial institution was tasked to facilitate the Muslim community’s savings for the haj and pilgrimage.

It managed more than RM73 billion worth of deposits as at last year.

TH recorded more than RM3 billion in net profit in 2017 and has more than nine million depositors with a network of 125 branches nationwide, making it one of the premium investment funds in the country.

Mohammed Nor and Zukri’s first challenge would be the taking over of FGV Holdings Bhd’s entire stake in joint-venture (JV) plantation company Trurich Resources Sdn Bhd.

Last Friday, The Malaysian Reserve reported that a sum of RM350 million would be required to take over the whole stake in the 50:50 JV which owns and manages 42,000ha of oil palm plantations in East and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The proposal for the Trurich stake purchase was submitted to the board prior to GE14, but the final decision would require the signature of the minister in charge of TH.

Mohammed Nor said he is up to the challenge of moving the investment fund forward and has plans to bring the organisation to a higher level.

“Give me some chance; certainly, we will have to come up with what we have found out and what we think we can do. There is no such thing as a warm-up period,” he said.

He added that the appointment as chairperson of TH was initially effective July 10, but the PM wanted to personally hand over the appointment letter — hence it was effective last Friday, July 13.

The PM had said under the Pakatan Harapan-led government, appointments to government-linked companies would be assessed according to the competency and capability of the individuals, not political connection or influence.

Zukri, 60, thanked the government for the confidence and trust given to him through the appointment as it is a privilege for him to serve the organisation.

“I will do my best to deliver the mandate and hope of the government,” he said.

Zukri assumes the group MD cum CEO position from Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, who had completed his two-year contract service at the pilgrims fund on June 30.