ONLY the shareholders can decide whether Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) chairman Isa Samad is to stay or go, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today.
He said Isa had been appointed with the board of directors’ endorsement.
“So we will eave it to the authority to decide on the issue, on his position,” said Zahid after breaking fast at the police training centre in Kuala Lumpur.
FGV shares have plummeted by more than 20% since its chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad and three others were asked to go on leave pending an internal audit and a Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation into allegations of power abuse and corruption within the plantation company.
FGV shares fell about 1% on Wednesday before rebounding to rise 2.5%. The day before, FGV shares had declined 6% and at one point dropped to their lowest in five months.
“The market capitalisation has dropped between 20 and 30%. And this has affected FGV and also the Felda settlers who have shares in the public-listed company,” said Zahid.
Zahid said he hoped the announcement of the appointment of Idris Jala to resolve FGV’s problems will help to stabilise the share price.
“I believe Idris was appointed to look into the audit management where several decisions were made that caused big losses to FGV.”
FGV shareholders view the suspended CEO as someone who was focused on restructuring efforts and improving the FGV share value, say industry analysts.
Zakaria took over in April last year from Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, who was replaced after a controversial, failed deal in 2015 to buy a stake in Indonesian palm oil firm PT Eagle High Plantations Tbh.
A day after his suspension, Zakaria was called up by the MACC to record his statement concerning business dealings between Afgan company Safitex and FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd.
Zakaria arrived with an armful of documents and left after a four-hour interview.
Zakaria has since his suspension maintained that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and called for MACC to intervene by launching a probe into FGV.
Following his interview with the graft-busters today, Zakaria has issued an ultimatum to FGV, saying it was either him or the chairman as he could not no longer work with Isa under the circumstances.