30-day leave was painful, says CIMB’s Nazir Razak

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak says the 30-day voluntary leave of absence was a painful period for him. — Reuters pic
Datuk Seri Nazir Razak says the 30-day voluntary leave of absence was a painful period for him. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 ― CIMB Group Holdings Bhd Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said his 30-day voluntary leave of absence from April 19 was a painful period and not his finest hour.

Following a report in the Wall Street Journal on March 31 that Nazir had handled US$7 million (RM28.6 million) on behalf of his brother Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, CIMB Bank had to get to the bottom of it.

“The bank's board of directors had to decide whether I did anything wrong and whether they still want me as chairman.

“I felt that for them to do it properly, I had to step aside,” he said on Astro Awani's Obviously Harith Iskander last night.

Following his leave, the bank appointed an external audit firm, Messrs Ernst & Young to assist with the review, which eventually concluded that Nazir did not misuse his position as the then group chief executive nor was there any inappropriate use of the bank’s resources.

On May 18, CIMB Bank released a statement saying that the review identified some process shortcomings.

However, the boards of CIMB Group and CIMB Bank instructed the management to put in place plans for immediate improvements, as well as to strengthen internal rules and processes to avoid re-occurrences moving forward.

“I have been in the business for 25 years, including 15 years as chief executive... and throughout all of that, I had to make so many quick calls and decisions. I just hope that most of them are good,” he added. ― Bernama

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