SUSPENDED Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) CEO Zakaria Arshad has accused the plantation company of going ahead with several “ridiculous” investments over his objections, StarBiz reported today.
Among others, he alleged that he was overruled on the decision to invest in Felda Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, to produce nanocarbons.
Zakaria said the Felda subsidiary was now seeking £100 million (RM550 million) for expansion after having lost RM117 million in four years.
“To me, this is ridiculous, we’re a plantation company,” said Zakaria.
He said the FGV board members had initially agreed at his urging to cease investing in the company, but changed their minds three weeks later in London to give the expansion the green light.
Zakaria said he had also objected paying RM300 million for a 30% stake in a creamer factory in Klang.
“Why would I want to put RM300 million in a non-core business? They also overruled (my decision and) even though the exco already said no-go, the investment was given the go-ahead,” he said.
Zakaria said these were two of several business decisions where his views were disregarded.
“There are other examples, direct negotiations, direct contracts… I’ve been entrusted with managing the company but when I want to enforce strictly, then this is what happens.
Zakaria, along with group chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, was ordered today to go on leave pending an investigation into the late payment from Afghan company Safitex to FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd (DOP).
Earlier news reports said Zakaria would defy the order to lay down his duties.
Zakaria denied he had done wrong in allowing Safitex to make a purchase without a letter of credit, which had led to the delayed payment. He said the Safitex order was approved by the previous CEO, and the Afghan company has been a DOP client for 20 years with a good credit track record.
He was also reported to have urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter
“I, too, am ready to be investigated, and urge MACC to investigate FGV so that any wrongdoing in the company can be uncovered.”