KUALA LUMPUR: With the government stepping in to probe the crisis enveloping Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said he hopes that all outstanding issues will be addressed soon.
In a report by StarBizWeek, Shahrir was quoted as saying that solutions that will be put forward by the government will hopefully help improve FGV’s operations.
“I hope the solutions and measures to be put forward will be the right ones, so that they will help to improve overall FGV operations. We must go back to the basics. Bear in mind, FGV is a government-linked company (GLC) and not Felda.
“As a GLC (FGV), the government has the leeway or latitude – by putting in (Pemandu Associates Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala) – to make sure things are progressing well.
“So, I hope the eventual result will bring much-needed changes to FGV so that we can look forward to a better future,” he said.
Shahrir said he believes that if FGV adheres to a high level of corporate governance and best practices in management (which are expected once it becomes a corporate entity), it will perform better.
He said that FGV will be able to improve in terms of future profits and dividend payments, provided that commodity prices are also performing well.
Shahrir further emphasised that FGV must be on par with its peers in the plantation industry.
“This would mean that FGV will need to adopt best practices, good corporate governance and good leadership. (Only) then (will) Felda, as the single largest shareholder of FGV, (be) truly satisfied and happy,” he said.
Shahrir added that unnecessary investments made by FGV have prevented it from living up to its promise of generating sustainable income.
On whether an active politician should be leading a government-listed company, Shahrir said that as long as the person knows what he or she is doing, and is not simply serving for the purpose of increasing his or her political base, there should be no harm.
“I am a politician and (I) don’t mind heading FGV, but then, I am already the Felda chairman.
“Basically, if you are a true leader going into the corporate sector, then you will have to provide the best wisdom and values (needed),” he added.
On June 6, four senior figures of FGV were placed on forced leave.
The four were FGV’s chief executive officer, Zakaria Arshad; FGV chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha; Delima Oil Products senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim; and FGV Trading chief executive officer Ahmad Salman Omar.
FGV’s chairman, Tan Sri Isa Samad, said the decision was made to enable an internal audit to take place over alleged discrepancies within the company, uncovered several months ago.
Two days later, officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) paid a visit to FGV’s headquarters and seized documents pertaining to its investigation of the company.
The documents are believed to be linked to a probe over alleged irregular transactions involving the company.
The MACC's involvement is believed to have been triggered by a meeting between Zakaria Arshad and the anti-graft commission.
Following that, the government appointed Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent third party to obtain the facts of the case.