Four senior FGV figures on forced leave to facilitate internal audit

(NST) – A total of four senior Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) figures have been placed on forced leave indefinitely.

This, said FGV chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad, is to enable an internal audit to take place over alleged discrepancies within the company, uncovered several months ago.

The four are FGV chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad, FGV chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, Delima Oil Products senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim, and FGV Trading chief executive officer Ahmad Salman Omar.

Isa clarified that the four are on leave, and were not issued termination letters.

“The board did not terminate them from FGV. We ask them to go on leave, for however long it takes for the internal audit to complete.

“This is normal practice. It is not unusual,” Isa told a press conference at Menara Felda this afternoon.

On reports that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is mulling a probe into FGV on possible corruption and abuse of power, Isa said FGV will extend its fullest cooperation if it takes place.

“If MACC wants to come and probe, they will. But FGV’s focus is on the internal audit,” said Isa.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki earlier today confirmed that it had received information pertaining FGV, and is studying it.

Isa, meanwhile, said the internal audit was based on discrepancies uncovered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) a few months ago.

Asked if the discrepancies uncovered by PWC were that of financial irregularities or involved a delayed payment to Safitex, Isa replied: “that is for PWC to determine.”

Reports had suggested that the issue was triggered following late payment involving Afghan company Safitex for palm oil products supplied by FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd.

Blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin had via his blog Malaysia Today claimed that Safitex’s owner is currently stranded in Afghanistan and has thus been unable to clear the payment to Delima Oil Products for his September 2016 shipment.

The payments, it was claimed, usually come from Dubai.

Isa, when asked why FGV isn’t waiting for Safitex’s owner to return to Dubai to make the payment, said the company is only following the due process of the internal audit.

“That’s all. It has nothing to do with when Safitex’s owner is able to return to Dubai.”