Thu09212017

LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Sep 2017 2pm

Zakaria Tells Isa He Won't Resign As CEO, Urge MACC To Investigate FGV

Pic: NSTPic: NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The boardroom tussle at Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has come to a head with president and chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad standing his ground against FGV chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad.

In a letter to Mohd Isa sighted by NST, the CEO has denied any wrongdoing on his part, and refused to step down as apparently instructed.

The letter cites a discussion on May 31 2017 regarding payments due from Afghan company Safitex for products supplied by FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd (DOP).

Mohd Isa had apparently asked Zakaria to resign on grounds that he had gone against corporate practices by allowing Safitex’s purchase without a letter of credit, which led to the delayed payment.

Zakaria reiterated in the letter that it was unfair for him to resign based on those allegations as he had not contravened corporate practices as claimed.

He said the payment process for Safitex was approved and implemented by the previous CEO, and the Afghan company has been a DOP client for 20 years with a good credit track record.

The payment delay, according to Zakaria, was also due to the Safitex owner unable to return to Dubai until end June 2017 to execute the payment to DOP.

At the same time, DOP is making effort to recover the outstanding payment from Safitex, including through legal action.

“As the president/CEO since April 1 2016, it is difficult for me to micro manage all the subsidiaries under FGV including DOP, and as a whole, I should not be held responsible for issues of unsettled debts. In addition, the amount of payment owed by Safitex is less than 0.2 per cent of FGV’s total earnings.

“Therefore, I stress again that I am not guilty of the allegations made, and will not resign from my post as instructed,” Zakaria said in the letter.

In an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times and Berita Harian, Zakaria said the issue behind the boardroom tussle at FGV that surfaced last week worried him as it involved serious allegations.

"That is why I want this matter to be solved amicably and suggest for the MACC to come to FGV and investigate myself and the company.

"Through the investigation, we will know if there were any discrepancies in dealings done by myself, the management or any of the superiors."

Zakaria added that should the authorities conclude that he was involved in the late payment by Afghan company Safitex, which FGV subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, had dealings with, he would concede and resign from both his positions at FGV.

"MACC should come in and check our data; sometimes things just look better on paper," he told the media in his office here today.

- NST