FGV says welcomes operations without political interference

FGV group president and CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
FGV group president and CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) welcomed today the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s commitment that there will be no political interference in the operations of government-linked companies (GLCs).

The group president Datuk Zakaria Arshad had earlier met with the Council of Eminent Persons at the Ilham Tower on Jalan Binjai here this morning and told reporters he welcomed the assurance of freedom in how to operate.

“Generally I support the new government which allows GLCs like FGV Holdings to act without any political interference and for allowing professionals to manage the operations.

“We welcome this gladly,” he said.

When asked if there was any political interference in the previous administration, Zakaria refused to comment, adding that he would like to move forward with the new government.

“I don’t want to comment... Let bygones be bygones. All that matters is the Pakatan Harapan government has given us the assurance that there will be no more political interferences in our business,” he said.

During the briefing, Zakaria said the Council has asked for an explanation on the history of the company’s operations including the list of all asset purchases.

“They wanted to know about the background of asset purchase and I explain it to them,” he said, adding this includes the near-purchase of 37 some stakes in PT High Eagle Plantation which was eventually acquired by Felda Investment Corporation in January this year.

He added that the Council had given a few recommendations regarding FGV Holdings business operations and a meeting with all its board of directors is to ensue.

“A couple of recommendations were given...about five. I need to go back and inform my board of directors first. Further announcements will be made later,” he said.

He also expressed enthusiasm over the 24 per cent surge of the company’s shares on Monday following the general election.

“I believe this is a sign that investors’ confidence in us is stronger, especially since we can now fully operate our own business with no interference,” he said.

Zakaria is one of the five key figures summoned to meet the Council, headed by Tun Daim Zainuddin, today.

Earlier, Zakaria was the first to arrive at the Ilham Tower at 9.38am, followed by former Felda director-general Datuk Hanapi Suhada at 9.55am, Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan chairman Mazlan Aliman at 10.20am, Felda Investment Corporation chairman Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim at 10.54am and lastly Felcra chief executive officer Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope at 11.45am.

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