Noh Omar appointed MISC chairman

Succeeding Abdul Halim, Noh’s new appointment took effect yesterday


TANJONG Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar (picture) was appointed as the chairman of MISC Bhd effective yesterday, the shipping and maritime company announced in a Bursa statement.

Noh became the latest political appointee at government-linked company (GLC) by the Perikatan Nasional government that took over Putrajaya in March.

Noh succeeded Datuk Abdul Halim Mohyiddin who was re-designated as the non-executive independent director.

Abdul Halim re-designation also took effect yesterday, according to a separate filing by MISC.

Noh’s appointment is among several MPs appointed at GLCs and government agencies such as the position of chairman at Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

Noh, who has experience in the Federal Cabinet since 2008, was a former entrepreneur and co-operative development minister. In 2009, he served as the minister for agriculture and agro-based industry.

Between 2014 and 2016, he was the Selangor chairman of the Federal Action Council before returning to the Cabinet from 2016 to 2018 as the minister of urban wellbeing, housing and local government.

He previously served as parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department from 1999 to 2004.

Thereafter, he became deputy home minister from 2004 to 2006 and deputy education minister from 2006 to 2008, prior to his appointment as a Cabinet member in 2008.

Professionally, Noh was a legal officer at Mara from 1989 to 1992 and became a practicing lawyer from 1992 to 1995 through his law firm, Ahmad Fahmy & Noh. He was a teacher from 1980 to 1984.

In the first quarter of the financial year 2020 (1Q20), MISC sunk into the red with a net loss of RM1.16 billion, as it made a provision for litigation claims that amounted to RM1.05 billion in its accounts for the quarter.

The provision was made after it announced earlier last month that the arbitral tribunal had awarded US$339.7 million (RM1.48 billion) to Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd, in favour of the latter’s counterclaim for defective works in the dispute with MISC’s subsidiary.

The dispute involves the construction and lease of the Gumusut-Kakap semi-floating production system.

It also made a write-off on trade receivables and loss on remeasurement of finance lease receivables that amounted to RM935.2 million, following the award announced by the arbitral tribunal, the group said in a statement.

The group said it decided to recognise the provision for the litigation claims, as well as make the write-off as a “prudent measure”.

The company recorded a higher revenue of RM2.51 billion for the 1Q as opposed to RM2.28 billion a year ago, and a stronger operating profit of RM845.1 million versus RM591.9 million previously.

In December last year, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) sold stakes in subsidiaries like MISC, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd to Malaysian institutional funds to raise RM6 billion.

A total of 228.28 million of MISC shares were traded off-market, across six blocks, representing a 5.11% stake in the company.

The shares were exchanged at RM7.94 apiece, translating into a total value of RM1.81 billion. MISC shares closed at RM8.23, down seven sen yesterday.