KUALA LUMPUR – June 8, 2017: Until the dispute plaguing Felda Global Ventures Holding (FGV) is resolved, bloggers are of the opinion that the group should also suspend its chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad.
The argument is that doing so would ease the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation over the situation that has led to the suspension of its CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad and three other senior executives.
The four were suspended from work indefinitely by the FGV board effectively last Tuesday following what was stated by Isa as findings by the external auditors on a deal involving a foreign company.
Zakaria has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, will only step down if found guilty and wants the MACC to investigate FGV in its entirety.
Today, over 20 MACC officers were seen entering the FGV headquarters and yesterday Zakaria was at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya for about four hours to give his statement on the issue.
Journalist-blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan in a post entitled Business as usual at FGV? (Why Isa should also be suspended…) thinks that Isa should be relieved from his duties to allow the MACC to find out what has really been going on.
To press home his point, Ahirudin shared a previous post where he expressed reservations over Isa’s appointment as chairman given the fact that he was found guilty of money politics.
Isa was suspended from Umno for three years from June 24, 2005, for engaging in money politics in the 2004 party elections.
Another blogger, Captain Rahmat of Seademon, wrote extensively on Isa’s alleged mismanagement of FGV, including the loss by its subsidiary Felda Caviartive Sdn. Bhd. of RM47.6 million from the botched sturgeon farm initiative in 2015.
The blogger also wrote about the group’s loss-making bio-pharmaceuticals company, Felda Wellness Corp Sdn. Bhd., which had accumulated losses of RM154.76 million at the end of 2015.
Global Settlers Sdn. Bhd., which opened a chain of five restaurants and incurred losses of more than RM8.4 million, closed down after 3 years.
“Isa et al should realise that FGV and FELDA are of public interest and that he was entrusted by Najib Razak to make sure that the settlers’ interests are not foresaken. Instead, Najib and the settlers have had their backs stabbed,” he wrote.
In a bid to end the controversy, the government has appointed former minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala to act as an independent party to establish the facts of the case and recommend the best way forward.
Former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, now one of the government’s leading critics, however, doubted if Idris would be truly independent given his affiliation with the government.
“I know him, he’s not an accountant. He may be able to read FGV’s account sheets and all but I think it is better to let a truly independent third party probe the controversy.
“But Isa should have been asked to leave FGV a long time ago. Unfortunately, the prime minister kept him there despite Isa’s blunders. This is why FGV’s mess continues to fester,” said the Pribumi Bersatu president.