Kok backs Mohd Bakke’s appointment


Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has defended the appointment of Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh as the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman.

“I have full faith in Mohd Bakke’s ability to steer MPOB in the right direction as the government increases its efforts to counter the anti-palm oil campaign against our commodity, as well as to improve our palm oil industry’s performance,” she said in a statement yesterday.

“Mohd Bakke is a man of integrity. He is a respected corporate figure with vast experience in the palm oil industry and the country will gain from his leadership and experience to bring the industry to greater heights. His contribution is also acknowledged by industry players who reacted positively to his appointment,” Kok added.

She said this in response to Hisbah Centre for Reform chairman and former Senator Datuk Ezam Mohd Nor’s criticism that Mohd Bakke’s appointment was a “wrong decision”.

Ezam had argued that Mohd Bakke was plagued with a financial scandal as he was also the chairman of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB).

Kok pointed out that Mohd Bakke had openly expressed his dissatisfaction against 1MDB dealings during the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee hearings in 2016.

The Malaysian Reserve previously reported Mohd Bakke’s appointment as the government agency’s chairman will be for a two-year term and he will report directly to the minister.

He is currently Sime Darby Plantation Bhd executive deputy chairman and MD, and sits on the boards of Eastern & Oriental Bhd, Yayasan Sime Darby and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology.

Mohd Bakke joined Sime Darby Bhd on July 15, 2010, when he was appointed as its acting president until he assumed the position of president and group CEO on Nov27.

He was appointed as Felda Holdings Bhd group MD in December 2005, followed by his appointment as group president and CEO of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd in January 2009.