TNB unions divided over CEO’s fate

Four TNB workers’ associations but one maintain a neutral stance on Amir Hamzah’s plight

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

MORE unions are weighing on the tenuous position of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, splitting opinions as to whether the top executive should keep his position in the company or step down from the role.

Speculation is rife that the 53-year-old’s term as the national power utility’s CEO could be cut short as his appointment was made under Pakatan Harapan’s rule.

Amir Hamzah, who joined the company in April last year, still has a year and a half left on his contract.

Four TNB workers’ associations issued a joint statement yesterday where they maintained a neutral stance on Amir Hamzah’s plight.

The statement signed by TNB Support Service Officers’ Union (TNBSSOU), TNB Executive Association (PETNB), TNB Executive Officers Association (EOA) and TNB Security Unit Association (Perunika) stated that all four groups had no involvement in what they described as a “political” affair.

“This joint committee of associations and unions is taking a neutral stance over the dispute which is largely political,” the statement read, adding that they are not bound by the stance taken by another group called the Joint Union of TNB Workers (KPPPTNB).

On Dec 14, KPPPTNB in a statement said its 13,000 members — which it claims to represent half of TNB’s total workforce — have thrown their strong support for Amir Hamzah.

KPPPTNB said Amir Hamzah has been very cooperative and has shown his concern for TNB employees by approving special allowances during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The joint committee of PETNB, TNBSSOU, EOA and Perunika, however, said any changes involving its top executives do not fall under the unions’ jurisdiction.

The committee said its highest priority is to ensure TNB employees’ welfare is looked after instead of delving into political matters.

Amir Hamzah, who was previously UEM Edgenta Bhd chairman, succeeded Datuk Seri Azman Mohd who resigned on March 31, 2019.

Amir Hamzah started his career within the Shell group of companies, where he served in various capacities for 10 years. Industry observers viewed his appointment positively, saying that Amir Hamzah’s 28-year experience in the oil and gas, and marine logistics sectors would benefit TNB.

However, the change in government in March has since seen a slew of terminations being made and new appointments taking effect under the Perikatan Nasional government.

TNB named Umno VP Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid as its chairman in May, replacing Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir — a former Treasury secretary-general who was then appointed as the Employees Provident Fund chairman.

A replacement for Amir Hamzah, however, remains vague if he gets the boot. If the post is filled by an in-house candidate, those who could be next in line are COO Datuk Roslan Abd Rahman, chief power generation officer Datuk Nor Azman Mufti, chief distribution network officer Datuk Baharin Din and chief retail officer Datuk Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan.


Read our earlier report

Other TNB unions deny interfering on CEO issue