PETALING JAYA: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has taken a former senator to task over his criticism of Mohd Bakke Salleh’s appointment as chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
Ezam Mohd Nor, the chairman of NGO Hisbah Malaysia, had said it was a “wrong decision” to appoint Bakke as MPOB chairman as he was formerly chairman of strategic investment firm 1MDB.
However, Kok said Bakke was a man of integrity and a respected corporate figure with vast experience in the palm oil industry.
“While it is true that (Bakke) was the chairman of 1MDB, he quit 1MDB due to improprieties in the company where controversial money transfers were kept from the knowledge of the board of directors.
“He openly expressed utter disgust over the dealings of 1MDB when testifying during the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee hearings in 2016, as reported in the media,” she said in a statement yesterday.
Adding that the country would gain from his leadership and experience in the palm oil industry, she said she had full faith in Bakke’s ability to steer MPOB in the right direction.
“I am confident he will carry out his new role in MPOB with full commitment and dedication,” she said.