Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz today took a shot at Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi, stating that the latter was in no position to demand resignations in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV).
“Who is Puad Zarkashi? Is he the prime minister?” Nazri told journalists in Kuala Lumpur tonight.
He was asked to respond to Puad’s call yesterday for both FGV chairperson Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and FGV chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad to resign as it was no longer tenable for them to work together.
When journalists pointed out that Puad, like Nazri, was an Umno supreme council member, Nazri rebutted: “(He is) not the prime minister. So what significance is there to his statement?”
Nazri added that even he had a more senior position than Puad.
“I’m bigger than Puad Zarkashi,” he said.
Puad was previously deputy education minister but was defeated in the Batu Pahat parliamentary constituency during the last general election.
Nazri said Puad’s personal opinion was unimportant and the opinion that ultimately mattered was Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s.
The prime minister’s office yesterday announced that former minister Idris Jala will serve as an independent party to establish the facts and recommend a solution to the FGV crisis.
The crisis was triggered after Isa ordered Zakaria to go on leave.
This was on the grounds that Zakaria violated corporate governance rules, a claim he denied.
Zakaria claimed he had tried to stop hundreds of millions in investments by the board, which he described as “ridiculous” as they were in activities unrelated to FGV’s core plantation business.
Isa today denied any wrongdoing and snubbed calls for him to go on leave together with Zakaria.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today raided the Felda headquarters after questioning Zakaria yesterday.
Nazri said investigations should be allowed to run its course.