More heads expected to roll in Malaysia government-linked companies

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Following the retirement of Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar as chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the attention is now directed at the top officials in Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).

Sources said that among the government-linked companies (GLCs), these two organisations are expected to see changes following the change of government in Putrajaya.

 

LTH is headed by its group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, while LTAT's chieftain is Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who is also Boustead Holdings Bhd's deputy chairman and group managing director.

In 2015, LTH purchased a 1.55-acre parcel in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project from scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) - sparking claims that the deal was done to bail out 1MDB.

Lodin, meanwhile, was appointed LTAT's CEO in 1982. He joined Boustead in 1984 and became the company's managing director about seven years later.

He was chairman of 1MDB, but relinquished his position in 2016 following the Public Accounts Committee's tabling of its audit report in the Dewan Rakyat.

In a statement on Friday (June 29), PNB said former Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz will replace Wahid as PNB's chairman effective July 1.

In a separate statement, Wahid said the appointment of Zeti as PNB's new chairman will enable a smooth transition of the leadership of the board of directors to ensure that investment and operations of the PNB Group are not affected.

"I believe Zeti and members of the board will be able to continue leading PNB to a higher level of success," he said.

Wahid's resignation follows a slew of changes in the top brass of GLCs - which forms part of the reform programmes of the new government under Pakatan Harapan.

The heads started rolling on May 14 when Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad stepped down from his position as the chairman of the politically-linked Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).

On the same day, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah's contract as Treasury secretary-general was cut short, and subsequently he was transferred to the Public Service Department. Irwan has since stepped down from board positions of companies under the Finance Ministry.

The following week saw LTH's Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim relinquish his position as chairman.

Then came the resignation of Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim after having served about two years since his appointment in April 2016.

His resignation came weeks after questions were raised over the central bank's purchase of land to bail out 1MDB.

Other key resignations related to GLCs in recent times included that of Telekom Malaysia Bhd's group CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly and Habibul Rahman, who sat on the board of Malaysia Airlines.

Last week, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB)'s Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, the developer of KL Sentral, announced his retirement.

Notably, Salim's son Mohd Imran Mohamad Salim has taken over the MRCB group MD role.

MRCB has also restructured its board by redesignating Tan Sri Azlan Zainol as independent chairman.

Additionally, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) independent non-executive director Datuk Mohd Omar Mustapha had also tendered his resignation on June 1.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan had stepped down from his position as the chairman of Petronas, while Bursa Malaysia CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan could also be replaced before his term ends in March next year.