Zakaria: I did no wrong, no reason for me to resign

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PUTRAJAYA: Zakaria Arshad, who is currently on forced leave pending an internal investigation into a subsidiary company, says there is no reason for him to step down as Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) CEO.

“Why should I step down? Unless I did something wrong, there is no reason for me to do so,” he told reporters today.

He was responding to calls for him to resign, raised earlier today by Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who said both Zakaria and FGV chairman Isa Abdul Samad should resign from the company as the duo could never work together again.

Zakaria, who is also FGV president, was speaking to reporters after a four-hour meeting with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) here this evening.

He had met the anti-graft agency to assist in investigations into alleged improprieties involving the company.

Zakaria, who was appointed CEO on April 1 last year, was asked to go on leave pending the outcome of investigations into the issue of a delayed payment by Afghan company Safitex to FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products.

Just yesterday, Reuters reported that Zakaria refused to resign as the company directed him to go on forced leave.

His statement this evening also comes a day after Isa denied that Zakaria was asked to resign as CEO, explaining that the board had only suggested he do so.

On a related issue, Zakaria welcomed Putrajaya’s appointment of Idris Jala as an independent party to scrutinise his suspension and that of two others by the board.

Apart from Zakaria, FGV chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha and FGV Trading CEO Ahmad Salman Omar were also asked to take a leave of absence.

“At least there won’t be any issue of people taking sides compared to if someone from FGV was appointed to the role,” he said.

Idris, a former cabinet member and now Pemandu president and CEO, has been asked to establish the facts of the case and recommend the way forward regarding the decision.